Education: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, Florida Atlantic University
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I enjoy that teaching offers the opportunity for almost instant feedback from the student. Whether by words, a look, or just a smile, the student shows whether the concept you are attempting to put across has been understood. Their enthusiasm offers an incredible way for me to feel that the work and effort I am expending is worth every second. It is an incredible reinforcement that we are making a difference in children’s lives.
What is the most important life lesson you want a child to learn in the classroom?
From day one in the school year, I try to stress to each child that they are individuals with varying abilities. I encourage them not to measure their success or failures against their classmates but rather to try to concentrate on the improvements they are making. I think it offers an excellent opportunity to them to realize they don’t have to be “the” best but should always try “their” best whether it is in the classroom or as they face other challenges throughout life.
Why did you choose to teach at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy?
After spending 25 years in the Fire Service, I spent a year teaching fifth grade in the public school system in Indian River County. I loved the interaction with the children but missed the opportunity to spread the Christian message to the children. After taking a year off to adopt a young child from Russia, I began substituting here at HTEA and loved the atmosphere. I applied for a position and have spent the last 11 years enjoying each day. It is an incredible school and I am extremely thankful for the opportunities it offers for both the student and teacher alike.
How do I inspire my students to enjoy learning?
I believe I inspire my students to do their very best through my example and humor. I am a strong advocate of setting boundaries within the classroom setting and then utilizing humor to build a warm environment where they all feel safe to learn in a way similar to our Conscious Discipline philosophy. I believe in doing so, my students look forward to each day and its challenges. I relate relevant stories and jokes to show that we only learn by sometimes stumbling first and that their successes will begin lifetime habits of striving to do their best.
What are your favorite moments with a student?
After spending time with a student who has had trouble understanding or mastering a concept, I enjoy sharing that moment that the child “gets it.” That smile on the child's face and his/her renewed confidence is, to me, what teaching is all about. I believe that one of our most important responsibilities as adults is to prepare our children for their future and, as a teacher, it is probably the best “energy drink” I have.