My journey has been a long one with a variety of educational positions with students of all ages. My first teaching position was as the teacher of seventh and eighth-grade honors students at Columbia Middle School in Ohio. I was offered the position because I had been a substitute in the school, subbing for the teacher of the honors courses. When he left, they offered me the position. I taught seventh and eighth-grade Honors English, Honors Literature, Pre-Algebra, and Algebra.
After three years, I moved to Louisville, Kentucky, and married my husband.
When our first daughter turned five, she was reading, and we began our homeschool journey then. As a homeschooler, I served as the Field Trip Coordinator and on the board of our local homeschool support group. When our girls were in elementary school, I taught at a small co-op. I also taught a small speech class for elementary students.
We homeschooled both of our daughters until our younger daughter graduated from high school. Researching the best curricula for our girls, one with ADD, taught me flexibility and persistence.
When our younger daughter was a sophomore in high school, she and I began as volunteer readers with a local chapter of the non-profit organization, Communities in Schools. The program is called 3,2,1 Read. I was assigned a first-grade student. I met with him for thirty minutes every week for three years.
When our younger daughter left for college, I began working as a Resource Coordinator for Communities in Schools at a local elementary school. As a Resource Coordinator, I worked with individual students and small groups in Kindergarten through fifth-grade. I tutored them in reading, writing, and math. I was thrilled to bring homeschooling methods to the public school. The first year, I also worked as the coordinator of Communities in Schools’ after-school program at a local middle school, concurrent with my elementary school duties.
I began substitute teaching on Fridays in the fall of 2017. One of my first positions was as a para-educator in a self-contained severely handicapped room at another local elementary school. The teacher then asked me to sub for her at a later date. I subbed for several different special education teachers in the spring of 2018. I realized how much I enjoyed working in that capacity. I spoke with the principal of my school. With her encouragement, I took the tests to get my Indiana license and applied to the Exceptional Learners Program at Indiana Wesleyan University. I completed all the coursework in December of 2019, and took my certification test in February of 2020.
Also, in February of 2018, I began teaching ESL online as an independent contractor with VIPKid. I have been with them for almost three years and have enjoyed meeting my students and their families and developing relationships with them. It can be very challenging to adapt the VIPKid one-size-fits-all lessons to the students’ wide variety of abilities, but I enjoy it. Since my second month with them, I have booked as many classes as I need.
In February 2020, I was hired as a short-term special education teacher at my former elementary. When the schools closed, I came home. I do not plan to return to the public schools in Indiana at this time.
I also tutor public school students in grades 1-8 online through the Zoom platform.
In addition, over the years, I have worked in the Awana program. I have been a Sparks Director and a T&T leader. I also ran our Wednesday night summer children’s program at church for several years. I developed and wrote the plans and wrote a book the students would work through over the summer. I have also been a VBS teacher and led VBS music.