Today I’m celebrating putting myself out there and sharing. I didn’t feel like writing today, but I knew a few people might check and wonder why I hadn’t written. Thank you to my new friends who keep encouraging me to write and put myself out there.
1. I wanted to be an Interior Designer when I was younger and in college, but I changed my major when my parents told me I didn’t even need a degree to do that. (This is not true, but I was impressionable and cared about what they thought.) I loved the one class I did take and wish I would have taken more. I still love decorating and design.
2. I love old people. My first job was as an activity coordinator for clients with Alzheimer’s. It didn’t dawn on me until later the similarities between this and teaching. I think I loved this because I spent a lot of time with my grandparents when I was growing up.
3. I was an only child until I was 18 and always dreamed of having a big, crazy family. I wanted a loud house with lots of chaos. I’ve got to get working on that.
4. My best friends are the same best friends (with a few more added in) since grade school. I love them like they are my sisters.
5. I love learning and have various interests I hope I always pursue. This year I want to start taking piano lessons again (I began over the summer). I’d also like to take a graphic design course, sewing lessons, and Chinese.
6. Teaching is my second profession. I had a mid 20’s crisis trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I used to sell engagement rings, but sales was not for me. During this time I pursued nursing (I was taking some intro classes) until my dad got hurt, and I was reminded I can’t look at blood. Nursing seems like a great gig, but I can’t get past the blood. I cried to my mom because I didn’t want to be a quitter and drop my nursing class I was taking at the time (I’d never dropped a class before that). She gently said, “I’m not sure why you are studying nursing- you always wanted to be a teacher when you were younger.”
7. I can stand on my head for a long time. (I usually bust this move out once a year with my students.)
8. I’m not a picky eater. I love pretty much everything, but I can’t do broccoli. I try it every couple years just to make sure, but I still don’t like it.
9. I have a book ordering problem. If someone mentions a book, I will most likely order it. I get overwhelmed by all my books though, and I don’t end up getting to all of them or finishing some of them. It seriously looks like a book store puked in all of my closets and basement.
10. I’m not a car person. I drove my last car for 13 years. When it was time to get a new car, I couldn’t decide what type to purchase, so I just bought the same car in a newer version.
11. I’m a procrastinator. If you tell me I have until 12:00, I will be working until 11:59. I try to work ahead, but there’s something I love about the rush of waiting until last minute. I’m working on improving this in 2014.
1. What is the best gift you have ever given?
I gave a friend coasters from significant spots of her relationship for her wedding. The coasters included where her and her spouse met, got engaged, their wedding venue, and a favorite place they go out.
2. What is the one thing you would change about yourself
If I could, I would change my inability to make decisions. I would also like to speak up more for what I want.
3. Which teacher had the biggest influence on you and why?
I loved a college biology teacher who made an effort to know all of her students. She taught to hundred something students in a large auditorium, and she still made you feel like she knew you and cared about you.
Currently Ron Clark and Rafe Esquith influence me the most as a teacher. I’ve been fortunate to meet them both (I visited RCA), and I continue correspondence with them still.
4. What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now?
I wish I knew, because I’d start doing it now. I pray I have a family and a job that I love. Ideally it will have a mix of being challenging and allow me to be creative.
5. What is your most favorite teaching moment? If not a teacher, family moment?
My favorite moment as a teacher was when one of my students, who I assumed was always a reader, told me she didn’t love reading until she was in my class.
I met her last month for lunch and she brought her tattered reading notebook and is still a reading machine.
6. Hot drink or cold drink?
I love hot tea. I didn’t like it until a year or so ago, but now I have it almost every morning.
I think the question is what do I prefer – hot or cold, but it really depends on the season, so I’m sharing my favorite of both.
My favorite cold drink is a mix with Guinness and Strongbow (or any Cider type drink). When the two mix and settle- there is nothing quite like it.
7. What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about improving myself. I am always seeking ways to improve my teaching practices and myself as a whole.
8. What are you reading currently?
My books to be read is always bookshelves deep. Right now I’m focusing on Essential Questions, The Happiness Project, and Last Time They Met. The last book is sure to make me cry.
9. Which season do you like the best and why?
I love fall and spring the best. There’s something about the start of both that I love. Fall marks the beginning of a new school year and football, and spring is a new beginning with beautiful flowers.
10. Did you have a favorite outfit as a kid and what did it look like?
I have some pretty horrible photos of me in stretchy biker shorts and crop tops. Most of them were neon too. I’m guessing by the photos that I loved these. Looking back it was pretty hideous, and I can’t believe my mom bought me shirts with my stomach hanging out.
11. How/why did you start blogging?
I started blogging with the encouragement of people I met at last summer’s All Write Conference.
11 Questions from Linda
1. If you could eat any dessert, what would it be?
If I could have anything, I would pick Creme Brulee or carrot cake. I have a really big sweet tooth though, so I’d be happy with anything.
2. Are you an avid reader? What is the influence that led you to be one?
I love to read. I would rather read than watch TV and sometimes go out. I think I always liked it growing up, but I especially love reading the books my students are reading. This is one of the things that has most influenced my teaching. I started reading more of their books and realizing the importance of doing this after reading The Book Whisperer.
3. Do you like to travel and stay busy going and going, or travel and relax, read, be still? Explain.
I love to travel. I want to see things, so I like to be on the go. This past summer I went to New York and some surrounding cities, and we were on the go. I didn’t want to miss anything. I like to relax too, but I’m pretty fair skinned, so there’s only so much tanning my poor skin can handle. It’s hard for me to sit still for too long too without getting restless.
4. If you could have any famous person come to your Thanksgiving dinner, whom would you invite and why?
Good question. I don’t know. My family is really into sports, so maybe we’d invite a coach from one of our favorite teams to talk sports with them.
5. What is one thing in the past year that pushed you into changing something in your life?
Feeling stuck has pushed me into working more on myself and trying to figure out what I want in life.
6. What is your favorite season? Why?
I like spring and fall. I love spring flowers and longer days and the changing leaves in fall.
7. Do you have a favorite poem, or poet? Please share.
No, I haven’t gotten into poetry (I’d like to). I do like Kenn Nesbitt’s poetry for my kids though. His poems always make them laugh. I also love Love that Dog and Hate that Cat by Sharon Creech.
8. What is the funniest, maybe embarrassing, thing that ever happened to you?
When I was about 12/13, I was swimming at a public pool with my best friend. We had matching bikinis, and we really thought we were something. The lifeguard at the pool was a very good looking, much older teenage boy. I couldn’t help but notice he was staring at me. I initially thought it was because he thought I was cute (ha). My friend yelled over at me to alert me that my top had fallen down after I jumped off the diving board. So, he didn’t think I was cute, but he was staring at my exposed chest.
9. Tell about a mentor in your teaching, or in your job?
I am lucky to always find great mentors where I work. At my first job, I met lifelong friends and wonderful mentors in Jessica Cremer, Kathie McCann, and Gwyn Savens. They are all wonderful teachers who are willing to listen and offer suggestions. I am a better teacher because of them.
I’ve also been lucky to meet Ron Clark and Rafe Esquith. I’ve learned a great deal from them, and I continue to seek them out for advice.
10. What is a favorite book from childhood? Why do you believe it’s a favorite?
I had a book that I use to love (I can’t remember the name of it). It had a picture of a dog on it. I checked it out over and over again from our school library. I’m not sure why, but I think I loved it because I didn’t have a dog and wanted one.
11. Where would you most like to be found on a Sunday afternoon? What are you doing?
On Sunday afternoons I’m sitting in my living room surrounded by schoolwork. This is crunch time prepping for the upcoming school week.
I’ve included some questions if anyone wants to answer.
1. If you could live anywhere other than where you live currently, where would it be and why?
2. Would you rather smell fresh cut grass or bleach?
3. What is one thing on your bucket list?
4. Who is a blogger you’d like to sit down and have a drink with?
5. What is one thing you are embarrassed to say you indulge in?
6. What is something around your house you keep putting off and why?
7. What’s one of your best qualities?
8. If you could be any other profession, what would you be?
9. What are your favorite and least favorite family traditions?
10. What quality do you most hope to instill in your students or children?
11. Who would play you in a movie about your life?