When I was a senior in high school I joined the Navy Band as a flute/sax player. About six weeks after graduation I left for boot camp. I knew that there were two things I wanted to do with my life, and I couldn't pick: music and teaching. I decided to pursue the music end and if it didn't work out, pursue teaching. Well, two years later I had a fully paid scholarship to a four year college. (I developed a life-long disorder called Interstitial Cystitis, or "IC" and was discharged from the military 20% "disabled".) The VA generously paid for me to be "retrained".
I attended Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island.
While earning my BS in Special Education I became a teacher's assistant in an ABA in-home program for children with autism. Upon graduation, I taught first grade in a small school (the school was opened in 1916, the first in the town, and has since closed). I worked in a charter school as the Special Education Director, and later taught ESE PreK. Upon moving to Florida I was hired the day before school started to teach first grade as a long term sub, pending enrollment. After six weeks I was transferred to teach 4th grade. I taught 4th graders that had failed the FCAT the year before. This was the first year that Florida required retention for any student failing the FCAT. The following year I taught 3rd grade instead. I stuck to 3rd grade for several years until I decided I wanted to prevent reading difficulties earlier and I switched back to 1st grade.
After teaching in the public school system for so long, I became increasingly frustrated by the political games. I was tired of switching school and starting my reputation and relationships over again as my husband and I move around with the military. I was presented an opportunity to be an educational consultant for early childhood teachers in the area of inclusion and I cried for two weeks about the thought of leaving the classroom. I ultimately took that job and lasted only 9 months before deciding to come back to teaching.
I applied at my children's school, a charter school (Imagine) and have never looked back. The road to finding the place I fit has been long and challenging. I have many stories and experiences to draw upon, for that I am grateful. It makes me appreciate the setting in which I am now. I see myself working with Imagine until I retire. I have found my teaching "home". Along the way, for the first decade of teaching, I learned a lot about myself and what I value as an employee. I am so very thankful to have a career that I love (teaching), and a job that I love (Imagine) at the same time.