Growing up as an Army brat, I moved frequently and learned at a young age how to adjust to new surroundings. I always bonded with my teachers (continuing to write them letters after I’d moved away) and loved spending time in my mother’s classroom. As we moved and my mom changed schools, I would help set up her room and tell her repeatedly how much I, too, wanted to be a teacher.
Though my mother expected I would change my mind, I completed my student teaching and graduated with a double major in Psychology and Elementary Education from the College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA) in the Spring of 2010. After graduation, I worked as a kindergarten teacher from 2010-2014 for Spotsylvania County Schools (Spotsylvania, VA). I was honored with the New Teacher of the Year award for my school in 2010-2011. I served as grade chair and a new teacher mentor for the 2013-2014 school year.
In 2014, I married my college sweetheart and moved to Robins AFB, GA, where my husband is stationed. It was heartbreaking to leave my students in Spotsylvania, but I was honored to be hired as a kindergarten teacher for Houston County Schools, where I’ve stayed from 2014-present. At my current school, I’ve served as kindergarten team lead for the past three years, hosted a Fort Valley State University student teacher in her Spring 2017 semester, and mentored a new kindergarten hire as I’ve gone through the TSC Endorsement class.
Over the last four years, I revived our PTO and served as teacher liaison, I began the Sunshine Committee (a hospitality committee meant to boost teacher and school morale), and I was one of two teachers to organize and lead VTAPE, or Veteran Teachers Assisting Peer Educators. Through VTAPE, I organized dinners and meetings for all new teachers (0-3 years’ experience) to get together and ask questions or talk about their experiences.
You may have noticed that all eight years of my teaching experience have been in kindergarten. I would explain this with two reasons. One, I am mildly obsessed with children’s literature and have a knack for teaching and instilling a love of reading at a young age. Two, both my former and current principal said after interacting with me, “it’s so clear you belong in kindergarten.” I take this as an extreme compliment, because to me, it implies that I have a huge heart, exhibit patience and exude fun, but also know how to command respect. I don’t think I could do any other job. This isn’t a job to me; it’s my life. It’s the awe and wonder that children show in every moment that makes my career fulfilling. My students might not realize it, but they teach me as much as I teach them.
While all of my classroom experience is in kindergarten, I’ve worked with kids of different ages and backgrounds in other capacities. While living in Virginia, I worked as a counselor for children who were victims of domestic violence. I was responsible for organizing lessons and art therapy activities for my weekly group of 9-13-year-old children. I’ve also taught 5-8 year olds and 9-12 year olds in children’s fitness classes. I am a certified group fitness instructor and have taught children and adults part-time at a gym for the past seven years.
When I’m not at school or the gym, you can find me with my husband hiking, crafting, reading, painting, or snuggling with the cat and dog. We don’t have any children of our own yet, so as I tell parents at open house, their children are my children.