Today I'm linking up with Latoya over at Flying Through First Grade for a fun linky!
1. What made you decide to become a teacher?
When I started college I planned on doing something with computers, like graphic design. It wasn't long until that changed. I decided to become a teacher the day I went to visit my nephew Alec's special day preschool class. I fell in love with those kids. I decided I really wanted to do something to help people. So, I became a teacher :)
2. What has been your most rewarding experience as a teacher?
The first thing that comes to mind is one of my former students. Let's call him Johnny. I attribute all my gray hairs to my time spent with that boy.... Johnny came into to my classroom below where he needed to be and I believe that most of the reason for his low performance was due to his behavior. I knew he had the potential to succeed if I could just save him from himself. I tried a lot of different ideas to turn things around for Johnny and it was exhausting. Here's what ended up working: I gave myself a pep talk every morning before school. It went something like this - 'Smile. Johnny can never know how much his behavior makes your blood boil. Love him. Don't give up on him. He has to succeed. Johnny is on the fast track to gangs and jail if he doesn't succeed. He HAS to succeed. He can do it, you know he can. Smile. Go.' This little pep talk, silly as it seems, got me through the year. I also started a small after school group to give a few students extra support. While the thought of having Johnny in my classroom an extra hour each day was almost more than my sanity could handle, I knew he needed it. Slowly Johnny began to change. He started to care. He wanted to do well and doing a good job became important to him. He was no longer consumed with wanting to drive his peers crazy or constantly needing to be the center of attention. Not that he became perfect, but his bad behavior was about 1/3 of what it once was. Best of all Johnny soared to the top academically. He became a great reader and was strong in math. I asked his second grade teacher how he was doing and she said "Johnny? He's one of the highest kids in my class!" I knew he had come a LONG way, but hearing from another teacher how great he was doing a year later was awesome. All that hard work had paid off :)
3. If you were not a teacher, what would you be?
If I wasn't a teacher I would be an archaeologist, museum curator, or baker! I love history. I was very close to getting a minor in History, but I just wanted to finish college and be done with it. Why baker? Because I love the show 'Cake Boss', and would love to do something creative everyday that makes people happy.