I have taught seven years in various educational settings. I am currently in my sixth year of teaching.
Year 1: I taught sixth, seventh, and eighth grade English Language Arts in a tiny rural town in South Dakota. My masters program allowed me to teach full time, have a knowledgeable mentor, observe many teachers instruct their classes, and be a full time graduate student. It was a full load to take on (to say the least) but I learned a lot and it gave me the foundation to be the educator I am today. Right after the school year ended I got married and moved to Minnesota.
Year 2: I taught at a very small open school in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota. I worked with students ages four to twelve. I was in charge of the social studies, reading, language arts, and physical education at the school. The small class size gave me the opportunity to work with the students individually and give each student what he or she needed to excel academically. I also worked at a tutoring agency part time with children and adults of all ages. I missed working with middle school students in my own classroom and the frigid winter really wasn't my thing, so I started looking for something new (in a warmer climate).
Years 3 and 4: I got accepted into Teach For America and was given the position of middle school science teacher in an urban school in Oklahoma. My first year I taught sixth and seventh grade science and in my second year the school switched to 7-12 so I just taught seventh graders. The huge class sizes, diversity of my students, and the new subject area were challenging at times, but it was the challenge I was looking for. Teaching as a TFA Corps Member gave me a different perspective on teaching and helped me further define my teaching philosophy.
The summer between my fourth and fifth year of teaching I became a Faculty Adviser for the new TFA teachers during summer school. I observed all of my four teachers' lessons and aided them in becoming better teachers. I loved this experience and eventually want to do something like this again.
Year 5: I continued on teaching seventh grade science at the school in Oklahoma. Except this time I was able instruct my classroom in more of my own style since I completed my two year commitment as a TFA Corps Member. I noticed a huge change in my teaching abilities. My classes were running more smoothly and my students were succeeding on even the most rigorous assignments and tests I threw at them. The class averages on assessments were up about ten percent across the board from where they were the year before.
What I'm Doing Now: Now I'm back in the states and getting caught up with the friends and family we missed while living in Korea. We're living in Tennessee and loving it. We're expecting our first child in May and are super excited about that!
I attended the University of South Dakota for both my undergrad and graduate course work.
--Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
--Master of Science in Technology for Education and Training