Lisa Thumbnail  

Year(s) and Subject(s) Taught 1st year - Grade 5 Language Arts, Grade 5 Math, Grade 5 Science, and Grade 6 Language Arts

How long have you been teaching? 3 years

What do you do in your free time? In my free time, I enjoy getting outside and seeing new places. I haven’t done a lot of extensive traveling, but I enjoy going to local events such as farmer’s markets, festivals, and sporting events. I also like to run and hike in my free time.

Why did you become a teacher? Why did you choose teaching as a profession? I have always enjoyed school and learning. So I wanted the opportunity to make school a place where other kids can enjoy their education.

Tell us about your own education journey. When I went to college (Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), I chose a traditional path of business and worked in the marketing and insurance industries for several years. But I always knew that I wanted to go back to school to become a teacher. After moving to Portland, Oregon, I enrolled in a Master’s Program at Grand Canyon University and worked as an instructional assistant at a local middle school for the 2 years that it took me to complete my degree. After graduating, I accepted a position as a 6th grade teacher and I have been teaching ever since.

What is the most memorable moment in your teaching career so far? There is a reoccurring moment that happens just before every long break from school, and it always pulls on my heart-strings. As long breaks approach, I often hear students tell me that they aren’t looking forward to not coming to school everyday. They tell me how much they love coming to school and how much fun they have here. They tell me that they like seeing their friends everyday. For some students, they get regular hot meals at school. It’s these little things that make teaching so meaningful. It’s not just the academic piece that is important, but also the human interaction.

What do you like most about teaching? I love seeing the changes that happen in students from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. To know that I played a part in shaping this young person to become a contributing member to society is something that I don’t take lightly.

What is the best thing about teaching at your school? What I like the most about being at an American school in a different country is the diversity. I have students from all over the world, and I get to share my American experiences, and in turn, they share their experiences and cultures with me. I have students who have traveled to more countries than me in their short life - yet there is still a part of them that is so sheltered. It’s fun and exciting to be at a new school in an area that is so developed because the opportunity for growth is there.

Who or what inspires you? I am inspired when I hear stories of everyday people overcoming great hardships. I see people who have much less than I have and they are so happy and content. They laugh more than I do, and seem less stressed than me. It’s little reminders from everyday people that inspire me to think positively, and have a growth mind-set. This is something that I then want to pass on to my students.