TEACHER TUESDAY BLOG
"The ESD teachers are so welcoming and open to helping you. They want you to succeed."
- a member of the Class of 2017
Check back each week for a new post!
What motivated and inspired you to teach? I joined Teach for America after college and taught for two years at an inner city charter school in Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, New York. I grew up in Dallas and attended Ursuline, so teaching in the projects was definitely an eye-opening experience. It was through those experiences that I realized that I love teaching. Helping students learn new ways to solve math problems and teaching them different ways to think is what motivates me.
What makes you excited to come to school every day? The joy on the students' faces and the interactions with my co-workers makes me excited to come to ESD. There is a special community here. I am excited to make learning fun, make math exciting, and help the students' minds grow by teaching them new ways to think. One thing that I really appreciate is ESD's focus on whole-child development.
What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? You are going to have set backs throughout your life, but it is important to stay true to yourself and to not give up!
Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! I have still have my horse that I competed with throughout high school and college. Shadow is his name and I got him at the start of my eighth-grade year in August 2000.
What is your favorite book and why? I love the book, Wonder. It is an easy read, yet full of life lessons - kindness, perseverance, stay true to yourself, and getting to know people for who they really are.
If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be? My Grandma who passed away in December 2015 - I have so many fond memories of her and would love to have one last laugh with her. Grandma made everything fun! Princess Kate Middleton - I love following the Royal Family. I follow them through their multiple accounts on social media. I would love to be able to talk to Kate and how her life changed from being a "normal" person to marrying into the Royal Family. Ben Franklin - He had so many great inventions. What would he think of our world today?
What motivated and inspired you to teach? I have always loved to learn, so I wanted to pay that forward. I especially love teaching at the middle school level. My background is in art and creative writing, so I try to design lessons that are as much fun as they are challenging.
What makes you excited to come to school every day? I am all about my students -- they are my favorite part of ESD. They are clever, silly, kind, and ready to learn. I look forward to seeing their faces every day, especially when they light up after making a connection in class.
What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? I want students to learn that an important part of life is creativity. It is all around them, like a song on the radio or the computer they use. Everything was created by someone, and creativity is an important part in all disciplines, not just music or entertainment. It's those who create that innovate.
Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! I love watching high school and college football. This started way back when I went to high school. In my junior year, I was actually a mascot-- I ran around the field dressed as a tiger!
What is your favorite book and why? My favorite book is Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. This story helped me realized how books can put the reader in each scene alongside the characters, transport to another place, and cause strong emotions. I was further inspired when I read the book on writing that was co-authored by E.B. White, The Elements of Style. It inspired me to write my first book!
If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be? If I could have dinner with three people, it would be both of my grandmothers and my mother-in-law. All of them are in heaven, so it would be wonderful to catch them up on all that has happen over the years. Although I know they are watching over us, I miss them.
What motivated and inspired you to teach? A few of my teachers growing up were mean and unskilled. I decided then that I would be a teacher in order to give positive school experiences to as many children as I can.
What makes you excited to come to school every day? I am excited to meet with my students; to teach them and to learn from them as well.
What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? I want my students to be self-sufficient, to be able to self assess, to be confident, and proud of their hard work.
Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! I was born and grew up in Transylvania (remember Dracula?), which is a beautiful region in my native Romania. It is a region full of old traditions, wonderful people, and very tasty food!
What is your favorite book and why? The Idiot by Dostoyevsky, because I am an incorrigible romantic and dreamer.
If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be? Mozart, because he wrote the music that penetrates closest to my heart; King Louis XIV, the Sun King, because he was both one of the greatest dancers of his generation and one of the greatest rulers; J.K. Rowling, so we can talk about Harry Potter
What makes you excited to come to school every day? I love how eager my students are for class. They make teaching and learning fun for me too!
What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? Believing in themselves. I want them to learn to have the courage to take risks and face challenges with a positive mindset.
Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! I love cooking with my husband! I love food and feel cooking is an art. I get excited about making new things!
What is your favorite book and why? Leading with the Heart: Coach K's Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business, and Life. I love coaching books and I have a lot of respect for the standards he sets for his teams.
If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be? One of them would definitely be my grandma. She died when my mom was 16 and I would love to be able to tell her all of the amazing things about her daughter that she never got to see.
What motivated and inspired you to teach? I had wonderful math and science teachers in high school. They inspired me and got me involved with tutoring other students. Experiencing and sharing the "aha moment" with others; the joy, excitement, and self-confidence... well, words fall short when describing the way it makes my heart feel.
What makes you excited to come to school every day? I get to spend my day with the best students, colleagues, and friends anyone could ever wish for. I strive to mentor and pass on the wisdom and knowledge that so many of my former colleagues taught me.
What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? I'll paraphrase what our Founder, The Canon Father Swann said year after year - "Every ESD student is a unique individual created in the image of a loving God. Each and every one of you is worth so much more than your G.P.A. or the result of some scoreboard."; If you can find your passion and the special calling that God has blessed you with, you'll never "work" a day in your life.
Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! Everyone knows that I bleed Dodger Blue. What I really enjoy doing outside of baseball is spending time with my wife watching the performing arts, spending time in the wilderness, and being with family.
What is your favorite book and why? Tough question, I'll list three. Men At Work by George Will because ball is complicated, and according to Red Barber, "baseball is dull to dull minds." Go Down Moses by William Faulkner because of my southern heritage and man's spiritual journey in the wilderness (getting back to the garden). Wilderness by Aldo Leopold. This book molded my personal wilderness ethic.
If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be? Mary, Troy, and Amy; my wife, my son, and my daughter. OHANA.
What motivated and inspired you to teach? It is hard to pinpoint one or two things that motivated me or inspired me to become a teacher because I cannot remember a time when I didn't want to teach. I knew as a six and seven year old that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. I would play school with my dolls and stuffed animals and always had a chalkboard or white board in my room as a kid and teenager. I had wonderful teachers in elementary school who nurtured my love of learning and desire to be a teacher, and when I came to ESD as a seventh grader, my middle school and high school teachers (some of whom are now colleagues!) encouraged me, challenged me, and showed me on a day-to-day basis the kind of impact a teacher can have on a student's life. I knew I wanted to be that kind of teacher. I am motivated by the call I feel to speak purpose and life into my students' lives through the content we cover, the skills we learn and refine, and the life lessons we pull from our world's past.
What makes you excited to come to school every day? I love coming to ESD every day because I work with passionate and caring colleagues who believe in the mission of our school. I get to work with motivated and curious students who come to class ready to learn and to go deep with the material. I love coming to ESD every day because I get to take my students on a journey through historical content that opens their eyes to the impact that one person can have on many, and I get to see them realize that they too can be that kind of leader both now in their futures.
What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? I want my students to love learning. I want my students to realize their own potential as young leaders. I want them to realize the power they possess to impact our world (in whatever context they live in) in positive ways. I want them to take hold of the belief that they have a purpose in life and that they can leave a positive legacy for others to follow.
Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! Things I like to do outside of the classroom...explore the city of Dallas, take my dog to the dog park, spend time in the mountains, hike, and travel. Through an organization ESD is partnered with, Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder, I have been able to travel to Nepal, Cambodia, and Detroit with student groups. I have made life-time friendships through those trips, and two years ago got to travel to Nepal with husband.
What motivated and inspired you to teach? When I was in fourth grade....long time ago....I had a teacher, Mrs. Fulcher, who showed me what it was to care about students. She always came to class with a smile and was an inspiration to me. I remember sitting in class thinking, "I want to be a teacher just like Mrs. Fulcher."
What makes you excited to come to school every day? I am so excited to come to school every day because of the students. They keep me laughing and for sure on my toes. I start my day eating breakfast with a table full of Middle School students. We laugh, they encourage me, and I encourage them. They even help me out with my fantasy football team. And, I also come to school because of my colleagues. WOW...what a great group of friends I have at ESD!
Beyond your subject-area, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? Enjoy life and have fun!
Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! Most people know that I love animals, gardening, the Texas Rangers, and am a die-hard Cowboys fan! But many don't know that I was a missionary on a medical ship for a year that traveled around to nine different countries helping the needy. I was a greeter at the front gate!
What is your favorite book and why? The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. This book inspired me to never give up. It help me understand that when things look pretty dim, I need to keep on paddling.
What motivated and inspired you to teach? I previously worked as an event coordinator for Barnes & Noble where I organized author signings, Harry Potter Midnight Release Parties, and other fun events. I loved my job and the best part was seeing how excited students were about books and reading. I wanted to find a job where I could see that every day, so I decided to become a school librarian.
Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? As soon as I arrive at school each morning, students are walking in the library door to find the next book that they want to read. What could be better than that??
What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? Through books and learning I hope that students become grateful, humble, and respectful (towards both animals and people)!
What do you enjoy outside of the classroom? I am on my Peloton bike each morning before work and take classes from former Tour De France riders. I am pretty much obsessed with it! I also volunteer with Best Friends Animal Society.
What is your favorite book and why? The One and Only Ivan by K. A. Applegate, since it teaches empathy towards animals.
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