Grade: 3rd Grade
Masters, Education: Curriculum, Instruction and Technology
My third grade teacher Mrs. London always had exciting hands–on activities for us. She also had a way of looking at you that made you feel special––it was clear that she was delighted with your presence. Her class felt magical. It took some time for me to find my way into the classroom myself, but years later I still remember what it felt like to be part of her class. I strive to bring that feeling to my students.
When I started teaching, I had no direct experience with real poverty. The living conditions and deprivation that some of my students experience daily shocked me. It was getting to know the children that changed me. I want for them what I would want for my own children––a future full of possibility and promise. I always imagine that they are traveling across a rushing river and looking for stepping stones to get to the other side. They travel on their own power, but the journey is precarious and they need places to land for support and direction on their route. I always strive to be one of those stepping stones.
Every day I look forward to seeing children who really want to be at school and to be with me. Really, in what other job do people hug you to greet you in the morning? I feel like my job is new for me every year––and every year the job is still fun for me. I’m proud of my relationships with students, and I enjoy interacting with so many parents who are eager to support their children and look to me for guidance.
I like supporting my colleagues through their first years, if only to listen. I believe that all teachers have the ability to improve their practice and enrich their professional satisfaction through reflection with a partner. I love being that partner. And working with young energetic teachers improves my classroom practice in so many ways. I continue to be impressed by the quality and education of the newly minted teachers. They are professional, smart and dedicated to children.