It seems only natural to write about education considering I have been a teacher for almost 30 years. I graduated from college in December of 1989 and in January 1990, I took my first official teaching job. I took on a medical leave at my alma mater. It was a part time job, only teaching two class periods of junior level literature, but I couldn’t be more excited. I was a real teacher.
My next teaching job came that fall. I took over for a maternity leave in November at Joliet West High School. Again, it was part time, and I didn’t actually have my own classroom; I had some office space instead that I shared with some other traveling teachers. But I was still thrilled. I was gaining all sorts of experience to add to my resume.
Then my big break came in August 1991. I didn’t know it then, but I was coming home. That is when I got hired to teach at Channahon Junior High. And I have been there ever since. Here is what I have taught in all my time being there:
- 6th grade reading to at-risk students
- 6th grade language arts to at-risk students
- 7th grade reading to at-risk, average, and gifted students
- 7th grade language arts to to at-risk, average, and gifted students
- 8th grade reading to special ed, average, and gifted students
- 8th grade language arts to special ed, average, and gifted students
- Modular technology to 7th grade students
- Transition class to 8th grade students
- Web design to 7th and 8th grade sttudents
- Computers to 7th and 8th grade students
I am currently the district’s instructional technology resource teacher. I work with teachers and students in grades K-8 helping with integrating technology into the curriculum. And I definitely have the best job in the entire school district. I get to work with everyone. I love having friends in every building in our district. I love getting to come into classes and do unique activities with the kids. I love hearing teachers tell me about all the amazing things they do with their kids. It makes me jealous sometimes that I don;t have my own classroom with my own kids, but teachers graciously let me come in and teach their kids, so I am very grateful for that!
In addition to all this, I have also taught college level classes, both undergraduate and graduate level. I can tell you that undergraduate level classes (at least the 100 level classes I taught) are not much different from teaching junior high 🙂 The graduate level classes are a challenge because you’ve got some pretty highly driven students in those classes, so their expectations are super high!
I am also a Google for Education Certified Trainer, which is a natural extension of teaching. In that role, I work with teachers helping them use G Suite for Education tools in their teaching and learning. I get to do one on one trainings as well as present at conferences.
Being in education right now is hard. It’s very different from what it looked like when I started in 1990. But for me, teaching is truly a calling. I knew I wanted to be a teacher from the time I was a little girl. It is truly in my blood. I want nothing more than to teach. And that is what makes all the hard parts of being a teacher worthwhile.