I began my career in education as an environmental education teacher and program director in California and New Hampshire. I have taught grades K-8 in the Anchorage school district for the past 20 years. For 3 of those years I served as a literacy specialist focusing on helping classroom teachers develop non-fiction reading and writing instructional strategies. I have also taught as an adjunct instructor in the school of education at UAA. I believe that all humans are "gifted," in some respects and that one of my most important missions as a teacher is to help students discover their gifts and utilize these abilities to enrich their lives along with the lives of their classmates and teachers. I believe that teaching should be more an act of uncovering wondrous ideas than covering static factual material. Finally I still get a little chill of pleasure and experience a feeling of honor and privilege when I encounter a former or current student in the grocery aisle and hear him or her say to their parent or friend as they point my way "That's my teacher." I know of no higher compliment which one can receive just as I know of no nobler profession than ours to be a member of.