"I am blooming from the wounds where I once bled."
What Inspired Me To Be A Writer: When I was a child, I used to sit on my Aunt Mattie's lap and we would play a game. One of us would start a story and the other one was tasked with finishing it. Our game began a lifelong journey for me filled with a fascination for ALL stories...ones created in my own and others imaginations and ones that were real life stories that each of us has inside of us to tell. This website and blog are devoted to my own writings and will hopefully become a dialog between me and my readers...a place where we can share our stories and watch them overlap, interweave, and wind their way between, around and through one another. My Background: I received my Bachelor's of Arts in English from Arizona State University in 2001. I became a teacher that same year when a wonderful Principal and Assistant Principal in Dystart Unified School District took a chance on me, put me in a classroom with 4th Graders, gave me lots of support, including a faculty & staff that was amazing to work with, and watched me fall in love with teaching! Later, I went on to get my Master's of Arts in Teaching with an English concentration from East Carolina University in 2010 while I was teaching in Wayne County Public Schools for another amazing administrative team and staff who continue to inspire me! I also spent one year as the Enlisted Spouses' Club President at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina, which opened my eyes to a whole new perspective in regards to the inner workings of daily operations on a military instillation. The Student: I am probably the least likely person from my high school graduating class to become a teacher. I remember seeing old friends at my first class reunion whose mouths were agape as I told them what I'd been doing with my life. I lost interest in K-12 learning the moment I discovered boys in the 7th grade. I was also frustrated with labels I'd been given by my teachers about my learning abilities. I was great at taking tests and thus my aptitude test scores were fantastic but subjects like math and science didn't come easy for me and when I struggled with them I was labeled "lazy". So, I gave up in pursuit of all things social and didn't get back on board with education and learning until I went to college several years after I managed to scrape by with a high school diploma. I am fortunate enough to say I've had some of the most amazing college professors in my life, who believed in me, treated me like I had a voice that mattered, and then taught me how to use it! They are the reason I fell in love with learning and my love is so deep that I make a point to focus on learning new things about myself, others, and the world around me every single day! The Teacher: As an educator, I made sure to keep in mind every single day that I stepped foot into a classroom that the most important thing I could do for my students was help them see a love for learning, as well as finding ways to apply what they learned. I wanted every one of my students to come into my class and know that not only did I believe in them, but also that I valued what they had to say and knew that they could be anything they could dream, open any doors they wished, and learn to fly, in part, by educating themselves! Dr. Seuss taught us: "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose." The most important lesson my students have taught me is that the most important lessons we learn, period, we learn as a child. And no matter how old we are, continuing to look at the world as often as possible through a child's eyes is the most rewarding thing that we can do for ourselves, i.e. coloring is fun, especially outside the lines, any time is a good time to eat a cookie, naps are great, climbing trees is exciting, the most beautiful jewelry is a crown or bracelet made from flowers, dandelion wishes and wishes on a star are equally magical, and being silly at least once a day is good for your overall health and well-being!