Fourth Grade Teacher
What motivated your career in education?
The factors that influenced me to become a teacher were unexpected and unplanned, but were fostered and recognized the more I became involved with my experience as a college adviser through the Missouri College Advising Corps. After graduating from the University of Missouri – Columbia in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Journalism degree, I pursued an opportunity at East High School in Kansas City Public School District to work primarily with high school juniors and seniors to assist them with planning their after-high school paths. I listened to students’ goals and aspirations for their transition into life after high school: athletic scholarships, ACT goals to get an academic scholarship, hopes and plans of entering the workforce right away to support and give back to their families. Even though my title was a “college” adviser, I began to realize that it was not just college I was trying to support students with; it was whatever path students felt would help them be successful and independent contributors to our community and society. For this to occur, I realized the importance and need for students to receive a quality education to allow our students to have options and opportunities for their futures.
What message about public education do you want to share?
Keep pushing our students forward for growth. Push your expectations for students and challenge them to challenge themselves. As a teacher and as a continuous learner, keep pushing yourself forward to learn new strategies and implement a variety of techniques. Also, push forward by reflecting on our practices, even if this means being brutally honest about what our data tells us is not working in our classrooms. We push forward and lead by example for our students to push forward too, so that as a team, community, and society our expectations are never lowered, but exceeded and pushed higher every time.