I Am a Teacher.
First and foremost, I am a teacher. I earned my B.S. in English and my teacher certification in December 2002. I began working at Sylvan Learning Center, where I became comfortable working with struggling learners in a small-group setting, and I learned how valuable conferencing with individuals can be to the overall learning process. During this time, I taught Academic Reading, Writing, Math, and Study Skills; I also taught the Reading and English portions of the ACT Prep program offered at Sylvan. Over the next two years, I was fortunate enough to work continually through maternity leave vacancies at Freeburg High School (my own alma mater) and Sparta High School. During these two years, I had the opportunity to work with students of all ability levels, including special education students and gifted students. In 2005, I began working at Wesclin High School, where I have been teaching ever since. Currently, I teach ninth grade English I and English I Honors, and twelfth grade British Literature and English IV. I also sponsor the fall play, scholar bowl, and literary club; I also serve as the building technology representative on a district-wide technology committee, where I often provide workshops to colleagues. During the summer, I have also taught a College for Kids class at Southwestern Illinois College, where I taught students in grades 5-8 how to build websites using Weebly.
I Am a Student.
I am a huge believer in practicing what you preach, so I feel that it is important, as an educator, to constantly be learning, whether that be learning about education, technology, or English. In 2011, I earned a Master of Arts in English at Southern Illinois University. It took four years, a lot of dedication, and quite a bit of writing; however, when it was finished, walking across the graduation stage was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Since earning an advanced degree, I still continue to grow as an educator through attending and presenting at conferences as workshops, and through involvement in professional organizations, such as The Cultural Landscapes Collaboratory (CoLab), where I serve as the Technology Liaison and a member of the Leadership Team. I'm also active in the National Writing Project and the Illinois Reading Council.
I am a... Writer.
Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have some truly amazing teachers who really encouraged me to write. My parents also played a vital role in my desire to write; they were always providing me with books, paper, pencils, and a captive audience. I have a special interest in poetry; my first publication was a children's anthology in grade school, and I haven't looked back ever since. Today, the duties of being a teacher don't leave much free time for creative writing, but I still manage to set enough time aside to feed my passion for writing, and I have a few publication credits that I am proud of. Continuing to write and submit for publication is one of my ongoing goals.
- Children, Churches, and Daddies, Vol. 245 (Sept/Oct 2013): "Death at 6 AM"
- Homestead Review, No. 30 (2013): "These Pills"
- Nibble, Special Nibble Edition (2011): "Borrowing Trouble"
- Nibble, Bite 15 (2010): "In the Garden"
- A Summer's Reading, No. 6 (2002): "Moving On"
- Mobius, Spring/Summer 2000: "Pseudo-intellectual"
- Dream International Quarterly, No. 30 (2001): "In Dreams: Secret Liaisons Between Reality and Fantasy"
- Riverbluff Review, Issue 10 (Spring 2001): "The Stalking"
- Footprints, Vol. 3 No. 2 (2000): "Birth Day"
- River King Poetry Supplement, Vol. 5 No. 3 (Autumn/Winter 1999): "Logic"
- Head to Hand, Vol. 4 Issue 1 (Spring 1999): "Egocentrism," "Normalcy," & "Ballad of a Teenage Insomniac"
- Head to Hand, Vol 4 Issue 2 (Autumn/Winter 1999): "Revolution" & "Position Available"
- Head to Hand, Vol 5 Issue 1 (Spring/Summer 1999): "Waking Up from the American Dream," "Flowers Bloom But Once," & "Birth Day"
I Am a Technology Enthusiast.
Aside from writing this blog, I frequently present at district and regional conferences and workshops. Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information or materials on any of the following topics. I'm always happy to share what I've learned.
Regional & State Presentations Include:
Regional & State Presentations Include:
- Illinois ROE #13 Tri-County Institute, February 2014 (upcoming)
- CoLab's Leading Innovating Communities (CCSS/NGSS) Conference, October 2013
- Gateway Writing Project Fall Conference, October 2013
- Illinois Education & Technology Conference, November 2012
- PBWP/CoLab 3RD Space Institute, July 2012
- PBWP/CoLab Design Thinking & Digital Literacies Conference, January 2011
- Create & Share with Google Docs, March 2013
- Creating Screencasts with Screenr, March 2013
- Using Prezi in the Classroom, February 2013
- Lesson Plans & Announcements with TeacherEase, September 2012
- Common Core Standards, September 2011
- Wiki in a Jiffy! A Dynamic Teaching Tool, January 2011
- Create Professional Websites with Weebly, January 2011
- Blogging with Gaggle & Edmodo, April 2010
- Audio Fun with Audacity & Crazy Talk, April 2010
- Using Edline in the Classroom, October 2009