Spartanburg High School
1.) Tell us about your role as an educator. What does your typical day look like?
In my role, I am constantly curating for, collaborating with or coaching teachers.My day-to-day is atypical as I am on the lookout for opportunities to develop or deliver professional learning that advances teaching and learning.
2.) What’s your education philosophy summed up in one sentence?
Everyone can grow and connect, but we can’t do either the same way.
3.) Why did you become an educator?
I had inspirational English teachers in my public schools, who connected me to the power of writing and speaking. I owe all of my communication skills to them.
4.) As an SCASCD Emerging Leader, how do you hope to have a greater effect on education in your community and beyond?
As schools adapt to the changing expectations of our communities and workforce.
5.) What types of professional development (books, DVDs, webinars, courses) have made a difference in your career?
Mindset by Carole Dweck; relevant project-based learning and school culture training by New Tech Network and the Buck Institute; involvement and collaboration in the National Writing Project via the University of Illinois Writing Project; Visible Learning for Teachers by John Hattie
6.) Was there a pivotal moment when you realized your career choice in education was the correct one? Describe that time.
The most invested I ever felt was when I had my students engaged in a project-based learning unit on gang and violence prevention.We watched a documentary about a violence prevention program and then Skyped with the producer of The Interrupters. The real-world experience, connection across ours state and personal stakes the students had reaffirmed my commitment to relevant PBL.
7.) If you could make one major change in education, what would it be?
Teachers would be given more time and rewarded for collaboration and relevant teaching.
8.) What is your most rewarding experience as an educator?
At this point in my career, seeing the joy from a teacher into whom I’ve developed new capacities…seeing them use a new skill or technology that enriches students’ learning is a priceless expansion of my impact on public education. I felt like I’ve given back to the educators who invested so much in me.