"If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well."
I never set out to be a teacher…teaching found me. Unlike most teachers; I didn’t realize at an early age that my dream was to become a teacher. This passion came much later in my life. I married, had a successful career in business, started a family and was blissfully unaware of my potential until it happened… the opportunity to share a gift I didn’t realize I possessed… the gift of teaching.
I was born and raised in Commerce, Texas, and I love this town. I am an only child and my parents do everything they can to help me succeed. Growing up, they always spoke of college as something that was certain in my future; so naturally it was always one of my life goals. My independent nature was the reason that I chose to leave Commerce and go to college at the University of North Texas. I dreamed of a successful business career in Advertising. When I met and married my husband Andy; I moved back to the Commerce area and tried to keep the business dream alive by commuting to the Dallas metroplex. After my son Gus was born; I settled for a secretarial position in Commerce to be close to home, but my heart wasn’t in it.
On the other hand; my husband comes from a family of teachers: his mom, Barbara, sister, Amanda, and sister-in-law, Mandi, plus many extended family members who are teachers. They were the ones who convinced me to consider teaching. Me? Teach? I absolutely LOVE children and I have confidence in myself that I can do anything that I set my mind to; however, I grew up with a stuttering problem and the thought of standing in front of a room full of people (of any size) on a daily basis terrified me. After much prayer; God led me to the decision that would change my life forever. I enrolled in the Alternative Certification program at Texas A&M University-Commerce and began classes to become a teacher.
I met Kathy Toole, Elementary Administrator of Phoenix Charter School, on the last day of school before Christmas break. I heard that they might have an opening for a first grade position coming open mid-year. I called the school that day, and I showed up during my lunch hour to ask her for the chance to teach. She must have seen something in me because she called the next week and offered me the job. Me? Teach? I had 6 hours of education courses under my belt and had NEVER stepped foot in a classroom until the day I stepped into my own classroom. Thank God for my teacher family members and an awesome administrator, Mrs. Toole. She saw the heart that I had for kids and teaching before my skills developed. The day I left Phoenix; we both cried.
As I mentioned before; I love Commerce. Commerce is my home, and I have the best memories from my days as a student in Commerce ISD. This is the reason I came back to teach here in 2008. I want to make a difference in the lives of the children here and give them the same educational experience that I had. The world has changed and so have the students of Commerce ISD. I want to plant a seed in these young children. This seed will encompass a love of school, a love for themselves, and a love for others. As the child grows; my prayer is that this seed will grow and give them the confidence and drive to be successful in school. Since I teach Kindergarten; I am proud to be able to plant this seed early in life.
My love of teaching is two-fold. I love teaching my Kindergarteners, but I also love the opportunities I am given to mentor university student teachers in my classroom and to assist my fellow teachers as an Instructional Technologist on my campus. Commerce ISD has cutting-edge educational technology in every classroom and I am blessed to be a part of the team that implements and trains new technology. This love of educational technology has inspired me to finish my Master’s Degree coursework, and I plan to have my MS in Educational Technology – Leadership by next summer.
I am very blessed because I am able to do more than just teach; I inspire, challenge, mentor, nurture, and counsel. Whenever I have “successes” with my students in any of these areas; I know I have accomplished much more than just a grade on a report card. I have contributed to a lifetime of learning. Teaching has allowed me to have a positive impact on lives. At the end of the day I know I have tried my best to reach every student who enters my room. I am very fortunate that teaching found me, and has changed my life. I can’t think of any other profession that would provide me the rewards and fulfillment that I have found in teaching.