As Sharon Draper says, we English teachers teach reading, writing, thinking, and dreaming, and if we leave any part of that out, we do our students a huge disservice. This is my most central motto for how I teach, no matter where or what I am teaching.
Currently, I teach English for Kalamazoo Public Schools, though I have taught Spanish on the high school and middle school levels as well. When I was at Albion High School, I started exploring blended learning and the flipped instruction model, and in the course of my studies, I became the lead teacher for blended learning and Moodle implementation at Albion High School. In taking the REMC course for blended learning, I expanded my teaching skillset and keep finding many new ways to get my students engaged with the content and demonstrating mastery in new ways using technology. Through Twitter and MACUL 2013, I have found new paths for professional development, new ideas, and new connections, and I am still processing everything I learned in my MAT TESOL program through the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education. I am at a point in my professional career where I am excited for some of the changes happening in our profession and finally feel like I have some of the skills that I have needed in order to teach more effectively, though I always have more to learn.
Teenagers today need better teachers more than they ever have before since their generation is facing more change than any previous generation has. It is our job as their educators to make sure that they have the skills and content knowledge to be successful no matter what job or future they go into. I know that my students all deserve my best, a new chance every day, and the space to dream.