I feel blessed to be surrounded by inspirational educators, in my school, in my district, in my family, and in my professional learning network. There are three people, though, who changed the course of my career, and therefore the course of my life.
The first person who made a profound impact on my teaching career was my mother. After 34 years of teaching, she always has and continues still to seek out new ways to grow and improve. She is known as “the grant writer” in her district, after her years of dedication to find financial backing for her science classroom when the school district did not have the funds. I am so thankful for having my mother as the picture perfect model of a lifelong learner.
The second person I would like to mention is a dear friend of mine, a business teacher of all things! My dear friend Terri captures the hearts of many with her compassion for her colleagues and her students. She captured mine when she relentlessly badgered me to join her little running club. I’m so glad that I finally gave in! Terri amazes me with her thirst for knowledge; she has been studying the Spanish language for over 15 years through travel and study abroad, for no other reason than just because she loves it! It was Terri who first introduced me to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. After years of more relentless badgering, I finally took the plunge last year and became a National Board Candidate. I won’t know for quite some time if I certified or not, but the experience was the richest, most enlightening process anyone could ever imagine. I cannot even allow myself to think of how dull and boring the rest of my career would have been without that experience.
The third person I must mention is my principal. In the spring of 2013, he came to me and said, “I really need someone to get information to your department. Would you join the Lead Team and come to after-school meetings? I can’t pay you, but I think you would be a good fit for the job.” Wow, what an incredible affirmation! To be recognized by a superior as someone fit to represent my department was a great motivator for me. Had it not been for his invitation, I would never have had the confidence to jump into the National Board Candidacy.
These are just three of hundreds of amazing people I could speak about. What an amazing profession we are in, to be able to touch so many lives!