~30~ Blogger Behind the Screens (Part 3)

The mediocre teacher tells.  
The good teacher explains.  
The superior teacher demonstrates
The great teacher inspires.
-William Ward

In 1992, I was inspired.  I was just 7 years old, yet it was then that I figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up: a teacher.  I was in the 2nd grade in Ms. Erickson's class.  I can't quite pinpoint what it was now, but there was just something about her that made me want to be just like her.  She inspired me to want to inspire others in the same way.

As I continued through school, having more experiences and outlooks on life, I was still determined to become a teacher.  I loved the feeling I got knowing that I helped someone. Once I reached college, these feelings never subsided.  I considered other majors for a bit, but kept coming back to elementary education.  At my college, Augsburg, licensure covers grades K-8 and so I was required to choose a middle-school specialty area.  I initially thought about social studies (WHY, I have NO idea!! After all, it is my worst subject), but soon came to the realization that math was the area I had the most interest in.

Prior to graduation, I student taught for 14 weeks in a multi-age classroom with grades 1 and 2.  I absolutely LOVED it.  I enjoyed getting up everyday and going to "work" so much that Sunday evening would roll around and I'd be ready to go back to school because I missed my kids.  I learned so much from both my cooperating teachers and the students and I knew I had made the right choice.  (I will mention that student teaching wasn't my first experience in the classroom-I had to complete 140 hours of classroom practicums prior to student teaching).

Two months after graduation, I was hired for my 1st real teaching job in St. Paul, MN at a humanities magnet.  I had 18 4th graders-all of whom I will remember forever! I don't think I'll ever forget any of my students, but I think there is something special about your very first class.  It was an extremely tough year as I navigated my way through teaching all on my own.  There were even times that I questioned what I had gotten into.  However, by the end of the year, I had a great group of students who had come together and built a sense of community in our little classroom, and I felt a great sense of accomplishment-I had survived my first year of teaching!  With me wanting to move forward in my life with Jake, I made a decision to resign at the end of the school year and move to IA.  This really was an easier choice than I thought it would be because our school was facing major cuts and I would have probably been let go regardless.

Finding a teaching job in IA proved to be much more difficult than I had imagined.  The first step was transferring my teaching license, something I put off for way too long.  In the meantime, to bring in income, I took on a temp position working for an insurance company doing quality assurance while doing private tutoring to keep up my teaching chops.  After a little over a year of that, I finally had my licensure in place, and was ready to start subbing.  Little did I know this was perfect timing.  Only a week or so after meeting with the associate superintendent, I was called back not about subbing, but a very recently opened job position as the Title I Math teacher.  I was thrilled! I went through a week long process of interviewing and then was hired!  I am now about to start my 4th year in the district and I am absolutely loving my job! The kids make it all worth it and I get so excited helping them to make sense of the math world around them.  My hope is that throughout my career, I will be able to have the impact my 2nd grade teacher had on me-that I will inspire just 1 of my students to do something great.

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