School: Green Primary School

Residence: Green

Age: 47

High school alma mater: Green High School

College: The University of Akron

Family: Husband, Brett; son, Hogan; daughter, Tanji

What subject(s) do you teach (grade level)? I team teach math and writing to first-graders.

What is the best part of your job? The very best part of my job is teaching the children every day, learning who they are and what motivates them, and of course, watching their faces light up with excitement when they’ve learned what I’ve taught them.

What is the most challenging part of your job? The most challenging part of teaching for me is the feeling of guilt. Feeling like I haven’t done enough to reach my students’ needs emotionally or academically is a personal challenge. In this profession, the clock controls your day. Some days, the time is slow, relaxed and you feel like you’ve accomplished so much and made an impact. These are the days that remind you how much you absolutely love your job and your students. Other days, you feel rushed, out of time, interrupted and overwhelmed, wishing you just had more time to work with your kids. These are the days that bring on those feelings of guilt where you wish you could have done more to just slow it down.

Is teaching kids the same today as when you first started? Why or why not? Teaching today is the same for me in many ways. I still make connections with my students and their families just like years ago. I still get rewarded throughout the day when I can laugh, smile and celebrate the learning that’s occurred. The students still make me pictures, give me hugs and bring me sweet treats. They still say things that I wish I would have written down on paper so I could write a book. Of course, there are more tests, more meetings, more standards, more students in a class, and more demands on the education profession today, but the amazing people I work with everyday are in the same boat. We support one another, we continue to put the kids first, and we do the best that we can to make our school a special place for kids.

Your students would be surprised to know that ...  the reason I became a school teacher was because of the impact my first-grade teacher had on me! I remember coming home from school and telling my parents how much I loved my teacher. I do not remember a whole lot about the class, the lessons or activities we did, but I remember having a teacher who cared about me. I always knew I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. And, you may be surprised to learn, I’ve worked alongside this very special person since the start of my career. Thank you, Barb Pursley, for noticing me, caring for me, and guiding me. This profession is definitely about the connections you make with people!

What’s your hidden talent? I’m not sure if this is a talent, however, my friends seem to think so. I love to rearrange furniture. Making a space new again by moving things around is really fun for me. I love when my teacher friends ask me for room arrangement advice at the start of the new year or when they are ready for a new perspective on things.

If you weren’t a teacher, you’d be doing what? I can’t imagine not working with children, but if that were the case, I’d probably be doing something that involved home improvement or interior design.

After a long day at work, what’s the best way to relax? The best way for me to relax is to spend time with my family and friends. Life is so busy! It is so nice to just relax by my outdoor fireplace and spend time sharing stories and making memories with my loved ones.