First Grade Teacher
What motivated your career in education?
When contemplating what degree to declare at Missouri State University, it did not take long to decide that teaching is where I would fully invest my head and my heart. Growing up in a single parent home made me look at the world through a different lens. When the sight of my happy childhood became blurry, the responsibility to my family became clearer. My mother did everything for her children including working jobs she hated, making sure we had a warm dinner every night, ensuring us no one would know we were getting free lunches and always being our support system when the world seemed to be beating us down. The decision and factors leading up to becoming the distinguished educator I am today did not come from any textbook or former teacher, but from my biggest support system, my mother. My mother taught me to be strong when no one is there to support you, be brave when the world is trying to make your run away, and to depend on the only person who will not let you down, yourself. These may be harsh things to hear growing up, but I believe these are the things that have made me independent and self-reliant as an adult.
Growing up in this light of independency helped mold me into the educator I am today. I want students to become life-long learners who are confident in making choices for themselves. There are two other factors that influenced me to become a teacher and their names are Alyson and Sarah. Although they are my little sisters, they were my first students. They were a part of my development and factor going into becoming a teacher. I never wanted them to feel alone or not loved. I knew that my responsibility would change from big sister to caretaker. As a teacher, you fit into many roles, caretaker as one. As a teacher I never want my students to think there is no one to support them and that they are going at this crazy thing called life, alone. I learned that being strong would work to my advantage and that my childhood would not be the norm. I believe my big heart is one of my best attributes and is a huge factor in me becoming a teacher. My hope is that every student has someone they can turn to for support when they are feeling lonely or when it feels like the world is against them. I know what it is like to be one of those kids and it is a tough spot to be in at such a young age.
What message about public education do you want to share?
Working together makes the community stronger. When individuals of all ages can respect each other’s differences and work together, that is when change will occur. When individuals can remember that change must first happen within themselves, that is when change will occur. When individuals realize that we need to leave this world better than when we were brought into it that is when change will occur. When differences are celebrated instead of judged, that is when change will happen.