Tell us about your work / research. What kinds of things do you do?
I teach 5th grade Science. We incorporate STEM activities/information on a daily basis. A lot of the information I provide are job opportunities and examples of ways that students will be using STEM characteristics in any job that will become available to them.
What sparked your initial interest in your career?
I knew when I was in 3rd grade that I wanted to become a teacher. I was always the student in class raising her hand for an answer or willing to stay behind to help out a friend. The spark increased in high school when I saw how much fun teaching could be. In my science classes, we had hands-on learning all of the time. Now, being able to share my knowledge with others gives me great pleasure. I also love it when my students teach me new things.
Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?
My high school science teacher is the most influential person in my life. She would always encourage us to follow our dreams no matter how far-fetched they were. My current administration also influences me to get out there and expand my knowledge. I have a lot of opportunities to work with various people in education.
What element of your work / study do you think is the most fascinating?
I think it is fascinating to teach my students about STEM opportunities in their community. We do a lot of activities in class that are tied to STEM and the students don't realize that they are using science or mathematics skills at the time. We also love to build things so that ties in the engineering part of it. I love that 5th grade students are very hands-on learners because that's the way I was taught. It's nice to share that experience with them.
What other jobs led to your current career?
Like I said before, I've always wanted to be a teacher. My previous jobs were held during college. I worked with young-aged kids at a local daycare for 4 years. After that I held a few other jobs at local franchises to work on my communication skills, being that I would be working with various types of students/parents for the rest of my life. I taught lower grades previously in my teaching career but I absolutely love the opportunity to teach 5th graders.
What are your degrees and certifications?
Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education - McNeese State University 2004; Masters of Education in Educational Technology - McNeese State University 2012
What are your hobbies?
I love anything outdoors. My family and I love to ride our ATV on local trails. We aim to take a trip to new places each summer, alternating between the east coast and the west coast. I also like to paint, sew, play the flute, and read! I currently have a list of books that take up a full page in a notebook of various titles that everyone has suggested to me.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career like yours?
If you want to become a teacher, keep in mind that it's a lot of hard work. You are always under-appreciated by many people who don't understand all the fine details that we teachers take care of. Contrary to popular belief, you don't really get holiday vacations or summers off from teaching. You spend all of this "off time" preparing for when you will enter your classroom again. If it is your passion though, none of that will stop you. My absolute favorite thing about teaching is watching the "aha" moments happen.