You never know where school assignments can lead you! In 6th grade we were supposed to find a career that we found interesting, interview a professional in that field, and write a report on our findings. At a loss for what to do, I interviewed the teacher of my friend's little sister who had special needs. The rest, as they say, is history. I found that I loved teaching!
The most rewarding part of my job is the "aha moment"--that moment a face lights up in understanding or when a learner realizes that they just accomplished something that he/she didn't know they were capable of doing.
Over the years, I have taught a wide range of age groups, ability levels, and subject matter. My jobs have included teaching students who have ranged in age from kindergarten to twenty-one, who were typical learners (is there really such a thing?), learners who struggle with various subjects from the basic academic core to those who struggle with basic living skills, and learners who learn English as a second language along with their academic core subjects. From working with such a diverse group of students, I have found myself teaching most subject matters in some form or another.
I received a Bachelor's of Arts degree from the University of Wyoming with a double major in elementary education and special education in 1986. In 2010, I received my Master's degree in Cultural Diversity and Educational Equity from the University of Colorado, Boulder. When I do the math, I am shocked at how many years I have been in the field of education--and have probably learned the most from all of the students that I have been fortunate enough to teach.
Currently, I am enjoying the challenge of teaching Integrated Services (special education). My favorite part of this job is building strong relationships with my students and their families.
In my free time, I love spending time with my family! My husband, Randy, also a Polaris teacher, and I have a blended family of three girls; all adults now, with only one still in college.
When I am not busy with family things, if I were to look at my interests in terms of what I spend my time reading and thinking about, one of my biggest interests is how to become a better teacher! Right now I am interested in the effects of teaching emotional intelligence in combination with the academic core classes.
Outside of "work", I love to run, do yoga, cook good food, read, knit, travel, and listen to good music.
If you don't like the way the world is, you change it. You have an obligation to change it. You just do it one step at a time.
Marian Wright Edelman