Happy New Year! New school year that is.
As with any new year, school or calendar, this year has many expectations, many uncertainties, and yet thrilling at the same time.
Before all of the excitement starts, I want to take a few minutes out to introduce myself as one of the TeachersCount.org bloggers.
I grew-up in a small rural Ohio town on the edge of Appalachia. I loved school and books and reading but didn’t really ever see myself becoming a teacher.
Fast-forward to college: I attended Ohio State in Columbus and lived in Columbus for a few years. Again, I loved the learning and energy stimulated by the big campus. Earned my degree in Psychology. Worked for a few years as a Case Manager/Social Worker in the Mental Health arena. I loved my job but hated the stress.
By then I was making my home outside of Columbus and raising my daughter and son. I took the giant leap and became a stay-at-home mom. During that time I wrote for various magazines and sold my artistic creations (sculptures, jewelry, textiles).
As my children entered school, I went with them as a volunteer. Remember, I loved school. On day in the teacher workroom, on of the teachers said to me, “Have you ever thought about substitute teaching? You can sub with a degree in anything.” Substitute Teaching!!! Childhood memories of a sub we lovingly called “Igor” came to mind. Could I do that?
Within six months I was subbing almost every day and had returned to college to get my Masters in Education. Within a year I had a long-term sub position. Within 2 years, I had a classroom of my own; 6th grade Reading/English at a small country school which housed k-12.
Remember – I love to learn. Soon I was going to many conferences. I earned my National Board Certification. As a side job I started teaching English Composition at a urban community college. Next thing I knew, I was being asked to present on various topics and write on education. And that brought me here.
Currently I teach 7th and 8th grade ELA at the same school. I work, also, with the Ohio Department of Education as a Lead Content Expert and sometimes Consultant. I write for http://www.examiner.com/public-schools-in-columb for Columbus Public Schools and for TeachersCount.org with books in the works. ELA, Middle School and Common Core State Standards are my areas of concentration, professionally.
Personally, I love Pop Culture, Art, Fashion, Shopping, Museums and Thrift Stores. If a town has a used book shop, I WILL find it. One of my pet projects combines book shopping with Education and that is http://www.allhallowsread.com. Founded by author Neil Gaiman, All Hallow’s Read encourages folks to give good scary books instead of candy for Halloween. It’s a fun idea and really lends itself to ELA teachers.