1.) Tell us about your role as an educator. What does your typical day look like?
My typical day looks different EVERY day!I meet with educators in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee to discuss Discovery Education resources.I participate in EdCamps and EdTech conferences (UTC, NCTIES, SCMidlands Summit, etc.).I meet with team members to discuss strategies to assist our partner schools.I’m a little ADHD, so change every day is awesome!
2.) What’s your education philosophy summed up in one sentence?
Educators should be life-long learners and willing to take risks, it is what we expect and want from our students every day!
3.) Why did you become an educator?
I became an educator because I always felt led to teach. My mother owned a daycare and I helped teach students throughout the year. I taught dance lessons for over ten years. I didn’t officially become a teacher until I turned 29 years old, but I know it is my calling! I’ve always been able to connect with children and miss them the most now that I am no longer in the classroom.
4.) As an SCASCD Emerging Leader, how do you hope to have a greater effect on education in your community and beyond?
I hope to have a greater effect on education by becoming a change agent in my community and beyond.All too often educators (myself included) become complacent in the way we teach.I am a firm believer that we should continue to learn by attending conferences, reading, connecting with other educators, and building a strong professional learning community.The whole theory, , does not sit well with me.
5.) What types of professional development (books, DVDs, webinars, courses) have made a difference in your career?
Becoming part of the Discovery Education Network was a game-changer for me. I took part in DENSI (Discovery Education Network Summer Institute), a week-long professional development in the summer. This connected me to educators across the world and helped build my professional learning network. I’ve traveled, presented, and have become a better person due to this connection to this amazing tribe! Another professional development that has shaped me is Twitter. I take part in chats and learn from different educators like George Couros (Innovator’s Mindset), Tony Vincent (Google Innovator), and Dave Burgess (Teach Like a Pirate).
6.) Was there a pivotal moment when you realized your career choice in education was the correct one? Describe that time.
There have been many moments, but some of my favorite have been when former students come back and thank you for having high expectations and pushing them to succeed. One distinctive moment was when I began teaching in a single gender format. After a few months of teaching the girls and boys separately, my students took the MAP test and made some incredible gains. I was so proud of my students and myself for being willing to change how I taught in order to reach students. Teaching single gender for three years was very rewarding.
7.) If you could make one major change in education, what would it be?
I really would like the amount of testing we do to be minimized. I would also love to see our lawmakers have a stronger education background. The big decision makers don’t have skin in the game and that REALLY frustrates me! I think personalized learning and problem based learning could give us a better picture on what a student comprehends.
8.) What is your most rewarding experience as an educator?
My most rewarding experience as an educator was the last couple of years as an Instructional Technology Specialist. I was able to reach a school full of students and teachers. I created technology challenges for the teachers and the students reaped the benefits. Technology-reluctant teachers gave new technology a try and grew in wisdom and confidence. I loved seeing the students learn and teachers changing their position on technology integration in the classroom. I have presented on these challenges as conferences and I love hearing from teachers and technology coaches on well it is received in their buildings.