I know the start of a normal bio features birth and a quick childhood rundown, but that always feels more like a challenge for me to be brief about than most people anticipate. I was born in Boise, but my father was in the Navy (he actually missed my birth because he was at bootcamp - and my first plane ride was two weeks later for his graduation) so we moved a lot. Over the course of my first 17 years, I lived in Illinois, Florida, Virginia, South Dakota, California and Idaho. I didn't attend one school for the entire year until sixth grade. I know - there are no oceans for a Navy career in South Dakota and Idaho. In South Dakota - where I really did walk to school in snow up to my waist, uphill both ways - he was a recruiter. And at the end of our stay in California he was transferred to Japan, which prompted my move to Idaho to finish out high school living with my mother. It was a tough decision, but, I think, the right one in the end. I was worried about him being transferred again before I graduated (and he was) and about getting into an American college after living abroad for three years. And so, I graduated from Meridian High School looking forward to packing all my things up and moving away to college.
I enrolled at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado. I worked for the school radio, tutored students in math (low math through calculus), and became a resident assistant and a student ambassador. But, after two years there, family troubles brought me back to Boise to finish out my degrees at Boise State University. I graduated in the spring of 2004 with a B.A. in psychology and another in English literature.
Towards the end of my last semester at Boise State, I met the man who was to become my husband. Kelly and I quickly figured out that we have much in common, from a love of travel and trying new foods to an interest in public radio and classic literature. We were married on in May of 2005 at the Boise Train Depot.
While working on my graduate degree in English education at Boise State I had three fantastic jobs (until I started teaching I was always working at two or three different places). First, I worked at the Hays Shelter Home, a homeless shelter for teens operated through the Idaho Youth Ranch. Working here taught me a lot about what a tough life really looks like. It taught me to take a breath and think before opening my mouth and how to have empathy for someone while still being strong for them. I saw and experienced some maddening and/or scary things at Hays, but more than that I saw and experienced things that opened my eyes, opened my heart and touched me very, very deeply. The youth I worked with daily changed my life, my temperament and my expectations. I also worked at BSU teaching introduction writing classes. What a wonderful way to start in the teaching world! And finally, I was a freelance writer for the Idaho Business Review - a great experience in that I knew I was writing for a real and actual audience, I met a lot of people in the community, and I learned a lot about the people and things I was researching for stories. It was also a great experience in that it taught me that I don't like journalism, I don't think I'm very good at it, I don't like calling people, and I know exactly what creates for me a frustrating and seemingly futile writing experience - a memory I try to recall when dealing with students in a similar writing situation.
I finished up my graduate program in 2007 - the same year I started at Lowell Scott. I have to say - I have never been so excited to receive a job offer. Since that first year, I have truly grown to love this school and the role I play here. I have moved into the gifted and talented program, much to my joy, and have found what feels like the perfect fit.
Kelly and I live near BSU with our amazing children, Eleanor and Beckett and our two dogs, Radley and Lucy. Eleanor, who turned four in April, amazes us, makes us laugh, and fills us with wonder and excitement on a regular basis. She loves art and music and reading and attends a Spanish pre-school. Beckett, who will be three in February, is adventurous, curious and strong. He loves all the "boy" things, from dinosaurs, super heros and baseball to dirt, climbing and building.
Coming in to my classroom, some things I would like you to know about me are that I have high expectations, I have a pretty diverse background, I love literature, and I like to experiment. I ask tough questions. I talk a lot about my family. I still remember a good deal of French from my five years studying it through middle school and high school, due largely in part to my fantastic teachers. I will be flexible with you if you let me know when you're having problems and have an idea of necessary solutions. I do not run an "easy" classroom; rather, I run a classroom that leaves both you and me feeling triumphant in the end, and perhaps a little tired. I enjoy cooking and grocery shopping. I do not enjoy running, but I do it because it's good for me. I danced for twelve years, and taught dance for two of them. The shirts in my closet are arranged by color and sleeve length. I think the internet is awesome and full of opportunities for learning. I have a sincere and profound belief in words - their histories, their strengths, their accomplishments and their potential. And finally: I think learning is fun and I truly hope you do, too - at least once in a while, sometimes, and about certain things.