I've always been a teacher; I just haven't always been a teacher with a classroom. My road to the classroom involved several interesting stops after I earned a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from The Ohio State University. Before earning my MA Ed., I worked in several different industries. Teaching and encouraging others were my favorite parts in every one of those jobs. When I look back, I can pinpoint how these experiences led me to a classroom of my own:
· My first encounter with curriculum writing at an insurance company. I thought the training process left room for improvement so I asked if I could write a training manual for the department! I then became a trainer myself.
· As an administrative coordinator at a non-profit, I oversaw a childcare program for adults who were taking part in job readiness classes. Even though I was a paper-pusher, I sat in on class any chance I had. I also supervised and mentored an AmeriCorps VISTA literacy volunteer and a teenaged mom who was taking part in a work experience program. Inspiring students from different backgrounds to set goals and work hard to achieve them is a pretty amazing job!
· As an editorial assistant at a children's book publisher and library service, I learned a lot about the world of children's literature as well as what appeals to middle-grade reluctant readers and how the book publishing process works. I also did photo research on some pretty strange nonfiction topics like child mummies, cryptids, and venomous animals. (Falling asleep after a day of staring at killer snakes and spiders all day made for some interesting nights.) I even got to edit a book our company had purchased the rights to that I had read as a young teenager! How cool is that? I loved being a sponge there, just soaking all of that wonderful knowledge up so that I could use it in a classroom of my own one day.
My classroom teaching experience includes language arts and social studies instruction in grades 5-9 with experience in urban and rural as well as public and private schools. Outside of the classroom, I have taught conversational English to adults in Ukraine and tutored third grade students from an urban district in math and reading.
I'm currently taking a leave of absence from the classroom to care for my family. However, I can't quite get away from the classroom altogether. I'm aspiring to inspire as a teacher-author on TeachersPayTeachers.com, blogger, and as a contributor to the Ohio Historical Society's on-line textbooks.
MANY thanks to my talented brother-in-law, Ian Cunningham, who designed my logo and blog header. You can see his work at his Web sites:http://www.aslanstudio.com
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