My inspiration for becoming a teacher was due, in part, to the influence of my very own 5th grade teacher, Mr. Luther, in Saugerties, NY. His classroom was one of joy, exploration and great acceptance of all ideas. I knew after that very special school year that I wanted to offer future students a similar learning experience. I just knew I wanted to be a teacher!
As an undergraduate education major at UAA, I had the opportunity to learn under the careful guidance of 3 very gifted mentors. Each of those mentors taught me one of the most important lessons of mentoring - that mentoring, is a 2-way street. With this mentoring ethic as my guide I look forward to listening to, and learning from, the first and second year teachers I will have the privilege of working with.
From teaching in Unalaska in the Aleutian Chain to teaching in high needs Title One Schools in Anchorage followed by a post career teaching experience in the Yup’ik village of Newtok, I have enjoyed the opportunity to hone my teaching practice and deepen my understanding of the significant role culture plays in education. Parker Palmer, educator and author of The Courage to Teach, says “effective teachers are able to weave a complex web of connections among themselves, their subjects and their students so that students can learn to weave a world for themselves.” I hope to guide others in this idea of empowering students and whilst doing so, continue to add to my own colorful weaving.