Degrees and Certifications:
I am so excited to enter my 6th year of teaching at Walker Elementary School! I was born and raised in Tuscaloosa and graduated from Tuscaloosa County High School. I graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelors degree in the multiple abilities program. I also graduated with a master's degree in collaborative education from the University of Alabama in May 2019. I am certified to teach birth-6th grade special education and birth-6th grade general education. I am married to my high school sweetheart, Colby and together, we have a beautiful baby girl named Lyla Jo! We also have a lab named Scout. When I am not teaching, I love to bake cakes, go to the gym, spend time with my friends and family, and shop at TJ Maxx!
My teaching philosophy:
Learning is a lifelong process filled with wonder, experience, and captivation stemmed from an internal dedication ignited by something or someone. One of my favorite things in life is the emotional state I experience when a student intrinsically discovers a piece of knowledge and fulfills the thirst to learn and understand more than before. Like many students, I can focus and learn best in a place where I feel safe, accepted, and invited; this is the foundation of my philosophy. One of the most crucial elements of being teacher, in my opinion, is providing a safe, nurturing environment for students to truly feel as if they are entering a room filled with family. Taking time to develop a bond with the students empowers the students with the feeling of acceptance and comfort because they walk into a classroom where they feel highly valued and respected.
Another foundation of my philosophy is the importance of incorporating enjoyable and useful resources in lessons and encouraging students to use multiple outlets to represent their thoughts. Jerome Bruner believes every child can learn anything when presented in a multitude of forms. In my lesson planning, I always incorporate multiple representations of information in order for every type of learner to truly absorb the content. Authenticity in the classroom is more than creating a worksheet for students to complete independently; a genuinely authentic teacher will invest time to ensure students will have an engaging learning experience and in response, learners will leave the classroom with a craving to discover more knowledge in order to feed their motivation to succeed.
Last but not least, I believe every classroom should be truly student-centered and student-ran. I do not believe students should be “told” on who to be from a number generated from a standardized test score. In my classroom, I want students to be involved in setting their own goals and expectations for achievement. Students go through obstacles every day and I do not think it is fitting to set a standard goal for all students when a classroom is filled with such diversity. Meeting with students daily to discuss progress and plan goals is crucial to success in my opinion because it not only empowers the student to succeed, but it also empowers the diversity within a classroom and teaches children that is is perfectly acceptable to be different than the rest.
To some, teaching is just a career choice; but to me, teaching is instilling the value of knowledge, success, and self-worth in every student who crosses my path. I want every student to walk in my classroom and feel as if they are home with their family in an environment where they feel safe and compelled to discover new knowledge. Rita Pearson once said, “every child deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the best they can possibly be.” I hope to be just that for every student who enters my classroom.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at any time. Go Rams! :)