As far back as I can remember I always thought teaching would be a great profession. I even remember playing school as a young child. However, by the time I got into college, my interests changed and I got my degree in criminal justice and then went on to get a certificate in paralegal training. I got married soon after college and I worked as a litigation paralegal for the first few years of my marriage.
After two kids and a move from Montana to New Jersey (where I grew up as a child), I became a full-time mom. Fast forward to four kids and still in New Jersey, I knew I needed to go to work full time. Unfortunately, I knew that it would be impossible to have the summers off in the paralegal field and I didn’t want to put my kids in daycare all summer long. I asked myself, what else did you like? Well, I love math. And if I became a math teacher I could have the summers “off” when my kids had off. So, I enrolled in the local university to begin my second degree.
After finishing a course in the Philosophy of Teaching, I decided to go to the school I graduated from to see about substitute teaching while I was finishing my degree. I walked in to the middle school in jeans and with my youngest daughter. I told the secretary there that I was going back to school and wanted to do some substitute teaching to gain experience while I was finishing my degree. She innocently asked what I was getting my degree in and I said math. She asked me to stay right there. Okay… She left and a moment later came back with the principal. The principal asked me into her office. My daughter sat outside while I went in to chat with her. When she started to ask me about my philosophy of teaching I realized I was in a full blown interview. Yikes! It just so happened that they would be needing a middle school math teacher for next year. After two more interviews I was offered the job and I have been teaching at the same school for the past 16 years.
During the first few years of teaching full time, I went to school at night and finished up my degree and then got my teaching certificate . However, I still didn’t feel like I knew enough to be the teacher I wanted to be. So I started to look online to see if there was anything there that could help me with my lesson plans. Was there ever! It just so happened that I stumbled on several great teaching blogs and a MTBoS challenge. The MTBoS walked me through creating my own blog and getting me setup on twitter. I would never have done that on my own!
I do not remember the first few blogs that got me started on this incredible journey, but I do know that my teaching has never been the same since I found this amazing resource! I could not have done it without the help of so many people, most of whom I’ve never met in person. I still aspire to be that great teacher and through the help of many great people on the MTBoS, I will continue to grow to be the teacher I want to be.