The short about me: I’m mom to a dynamite duo that keep me smiling and thinking on my toes. They inspire me daily and feed me with ideas and dreams. In turn, I hope to inspire all their dreams to fruition and to find happiness in all they do for self and others. They are my thoughts and smiles (and worries and frustrations too)! Well, them, and that man I finally married on route to one of our many adventure destinations, Alaska. I’m married to an incredible guy that encourages my desire to explore creative outlets. Together we have grown and come a long way. My mind is always looking to explore new ideas, creative outlets, and adventures. I love trying to be good at too many things really. That man of mine is a great sport about it… it being the too many things I get overly excited about and delve into. Yeah, that’s us. Well, and a big goofy Dane. We’re a family. And I’m loving it. Even through the learning moments! Okay, maybe not in the moment, but afterwards… when reflecting.
Yes, I am incredibly grateful for them. I am also incredibly grateful for the experiences that have shaped me as a teacher in the classroom, and for the incredible people I have met and the relationships and friendships I have developed throughout this journey. I began in a regular teacher ed program, and then was privileged to be accepted to Teach for America, and committed my time to teach in low income schools with students who face many challenges within and beyond my control. Their needs at times were great, but their ability, potential, and my belief in them was far greater. There once was a time when reading a novel aloud was family entertainment, but those days are the last embers of a dying fire, hoping for a breath. As technology continues to steadily reshape how children interact with the world, for better and/or worse, teachers must work creatively and effectively to invest students in their learning, in literature and mathematical reasoning, and the work ethic and rewards that go into the writing process. With instant gratification at student’s fingertips, this is often no easy task. I couldn’t have done it and continue to love this gift of teaching without so many thoughts and inspiration from so many amazing people. And as I hope to inspire, I know that there are so many I draw inspiration and belief from – and I thank you.
Outside of being a mom, wife, and teacher, I am also a person who get’s stupidly nervous in front of new people, struggles at times to believe in my abilities, self talks on occasion, even in front of a mirror to help myself through tough moments like interviews or invites to events (Hey MLK did it too! Rehearsed his speeches in front of a mirror, that is). It takes time for people to get to know me and to develop friendships. Not completely sure why. Well, thoughts, but that’s for another time. But the friends I have, I do hold dear. Yes, I’m a bit ridiculous! I get it! I’m a creative soul that looks forward to reshaping my reality into writing, photographing, painting, and knitting. Yeah, too many ideas, I know.
I also believe in possibility and opportunity, and all things thoughtful and amazing. I believe in dreams come true. And as my daughter likes to draw for me all too often, beautiful pictures of her and that often say, “I believe in you!”
To believing in me. And you.
Thoughts and smiles.