How long have you been teaching?
Why did you become a teacher? Why did you choose teaching as a profession?
I became a teacher because I love interacting with people, and had worked and volunteered with children and young adults from difficult backgrounds throughout my young adulthood. After working in the nonprofit sector and serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica, I returned to school to become a teacher.
Tell us about your own education journey.
My first teaching placement was at a small under-resourced school in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica as a US Peace Corps volunteer. I loved the connections I was able to make with students within an educational context, so when I returned to the United States, I became certified to teach social studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia.
What is the most memorable moment in your teaching career so far?
I would have to say my most rewarding years of teaching were the two I spent in Myanmar. Since their country had been closed off for so long, the students were especially receptive to learning about the world. They were exceptionally sincere and hard working. My students telling me that I made a positive impact in their lives, makes it all the more memorable.
What do you like most about teaching?
I like the two-way, group learning that takes place within a classroom, where students learn from the class and the teacher and we all learn from each other. Additionally, I am grateful for the privilege of being in a position to really make a difference in how students see the world and their place in it - that they can be a positive actor, rather a passive witness, to what is going on in the world.
What is the best thing about teaching at your school?
I absolutely love the diversity at this school. I believe we now have at least 25 nationalities which makes it the most ethnically diverse school I have ever taught in. As a social studies teacher, there is so much you can draw on from the students’ personal experiences which improves their engagement to the lesson. Additionally, the facilities are outstanding and allow us to offer students a rich variety of activities.
Who or what inspires you?
Although inspired by the words of John F. Kennedy and Ghandi, I am most inspired by the people that I work with each and every day. I have been fortunate to work alongside some incredible teachers and professionals in the education and NGO realms.
Describe the ‘perfect’ student.
A student who loves to learn, is willing to take risks, puts forth a good effort, is pleasant, and has a good sense of humor makes for an incredible student.