TEACHER TUESDAY BLOG
"The teachers at ESD have transformed my life. In doing that, I have grown and touched the moon!"
- A member of the Class of 2018
Check back each week for a new post!
What motivated and inspired you to teach? My mom was a teacher and my dad was a principal, so it's in my blood! I grew up understanding the importance of education and the dedication required to teach with passion.
What makes you excited to come to school every day? The nurturing environment, daily chapel services, long-held traditions, and the focus on developing compassionate and responsible citizens are some of the things that drew me to ESD. As teachers, we are blessed with the opportunity to impact lives every day and form positive relationships with colleagues and families that last a lifetime.
What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? They are loved, they are special, and they are capable. I push them to be their best because it matters. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard, or as Thomas Edison said, "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."
Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! Outside of the classroom, I enjoy going to movies and concerts and playing dominoes with friends and family. I am also a die-hard Aggie! I graduated from Texas A&M and love going back to football games in College Station every year. Gig 'em!
What is your favorite book and why? Small Steps by Peg Kehret is my favorite book. It is the inspiring story of a young girl who survived Polio. I read it every year to my students when we study the bones and muscles. It reminds us to appreciate our health, to not take simple things for granted, and to believe in the power of perseverance.
If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be? Easy...my dad and only my dad. I wouldn't want anyone else there to distract me from soaking up every minute with him. He was an incredibly selfless and self-taught man who died from cancer when I was 23. He lived a life of faith and integrity and is greatly missed.
What motivated and inspired you to teach? What inspires me happens to be the thing I love most about being a teacher: teaching kids how to read. Seeing their excitement about reading and understanding new words is so motivating!
What makes you excited to come to school every day? My students! Hands down every day is better because of the smiling faces that rely on me.
What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? P to the 5th (Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance). One of the most important things to me about teaching first grade is for students to learn independence.
Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! Last summer, my husband and I spent 10 days in Cuba. We traveled the country and had a great time, but sure missed our two girls!
What is your favorite book and why? I love the My Father's Dragon trilogy. I read it every year to my first graders and they beg me to keep reading! It is such a great adventure :)
If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be? Mia Hamm, Ruby Bridges, and Barbara Bush. I think these three women are amazing role models and exhibit confidence to be themselves no matter what.
What motivated and inspired you to teach? The excitement in a child's eyes when they understand something that mystified them before.
What makes you excited to come to school every day? I love the people at work. The kids and my teammates make coming to work exciting.
Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! I can quote whole movies and tv shows.
What is your favorite book and why? The Harry Potter series. It allows me to escape and become a part of a world completely different from my own.
If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be? My sister-in-law who passed away, my great-grandparents whom I never met, and someone to video the whole thing. There is so much I wish to know from these people.
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? I have always loved working with young children at day camps and a summer camp in Hunt, Texas. I wanted to specialize in Early Childhood Education and found joy in teaching both at the first and fourth grade levels. I strive to make every day an extraordinary day of learning and growing and exhibiting compassion for others for my students.
What makes you excited to come to school every day? ESD is exceptional in that we offer the highest of academic standards in conjunction with a nurturing atmosphere. This partnership allows teachers to meet every student where he is and move him along his individual academic road. What a thrill! In addition, the teachers at ESD are exceptional on all fronts. My first grade team are master teachers who are always ready to share ideas and laughter. We learn together to benefit students, grow professionally, and communicate effectively with our parent community. The very same is true of our enrichment teachers. They are the BEST! Our administrators are supportive of us and always display a positive attitude. All of these are reasons I skip into school every day :)
What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? I hope my students leave my classroom knowing how important it is to truly listen to others, to respect everyone's feelings and ideas, and to know the value of remaining positive. There is ALWAYS something you can do for someone else to brighten his or her day. Remember to count your blessings and share with others!
Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! Very few people know I LOVE to go on ziplines! My favorite is the Monster in Toroverde, Puerto Rico, which happens to hold the Guinness World Record for the longest zipline in the world. I felt like Wonder Woman glancing over God's beautiful canopies of nature!
What is your favorite book and why? My favorite series of books are There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly, etc. These reflect creativity, laughter, and endless possibilities for young children to add their own endings to if they so choose.
If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be? I would choose to dine with: Rev. Chris Jones, a past Headmaster of St. Luke's Episcopal School in San Antonio, Elsie Monette, a past Director of The Saint Michael School, and The Rev. Canon Michael Harmuth, a past ESD Lower School Chaplain. These three most special people have inspired me through leading examples in their own lives of wisdom, strong faith, and compassion for others. I cannot imagine the wonderful stories and laughter we would enjoy throughout the evening!
What motivated and inspired you to teach? Growing up, I had teachers that inspired and motivated me. When things were difficult, they empathized with me and made me feel capable. I want to be that light for all my students.
What makes you excited to come to school every day? I love the people I work with! They have become some of my closest friends! I also love kids. I love the joy and pride they get when they learn a new skill. I have so much passion for my job, and I couldn't imagine myself doing anything more fulfilling.
What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? I want my students to know they are loved and powerful. I want to foster the entire child; not just academically, but socially and emotionally as well.
Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! I just got a new puppy and he pretty much takes up all my time! When I am not taking care of my puppy, I love to run and cheer on my longhorns. Hook 'em!
What is your favorite book and why? I love The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak. I finally had to hide it from my students because they wanted to read it everyday!
If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? The three people I would have dinner with would be: Audrey Hepburn because I have had an obsession with her since I was a little girl (I have seen Breakfast at Tiffany's about three dozen times), my grandfather because he is truly the most incredible man I have ever met and really funny, and my brother because he is my hero! He is a lieutenant in the Marine Corps and protects our country.
What motivated and inspired you to teach? I wanted to be a teacher since a very young age. I had a wonderful second grade teacher named Mrs. Hagood who gave me a great deal of inspiration. She read Charlotte's Web aloud to the class that year and I was captivated by her voice. She also had a binding machine where we could write our own books and bind them. I would pretend to be Mrs. Hagood during free play any time I had a chance. I also had very inspirational high school teachers who each had a wonderful bond with their students allowing me to see how important relationships with students can be.
What makes you excited to come to school every day? ESD is like a second home. When I walk in the school building each morning with my son, Hudson, we are greeted by not only faculty and staff, but current and previous students. It hard to not have an instant smiling upon seeing these faces. I love the sense of community and how we are all so connected. It is amazing to work in the same place that my child attends school, where my sister is also a teacher, and my nephew is a student as well.
What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? It is super important that my students know how I feel about them. I want them to leave each afternoon feeling a sense of belonging and a strong sense of connectivity. Each morning we begin our school day in a circle simply greeting one another and letting each other know how happy we are that we are all here together.
Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! I love to run; I have run 6 half marathons. I am big music fan and loved attending any time of live music venue. Also, I am a lefty!
What is your favorite book and why? Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. This children's book is a book I read multiple times during the school year. It helps drive home the lesson that we are all unique in our own way and we should be proud of our uniqueness.
If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? My grandfather: I would love to be able to introduce him to my children. He would get a big kick out of their personalities. Mrs. Hagood: my second grade teacher. I would love her to see where I am now! My first group of students: I would love to see where they are now and what they are up to, as well as apologize for all of my mistakes as a first-year teacher!
What motivated and inspired you to teach? My third grade teacher, Mrs. Gulledge, was magical! She made learning fun and exciting. She always took the time to get to know her students individually and teach us in a way that we learned best. I work hard on being the same positive influence to my students as Mrs. Gulledge was to me!
What makes you excited to come to school every day? So many things make me excited to walk into my classroom each day! Seeing my students skip in with smiles each morning eager to learn makes my heart happy. I love my first grade team! We support each other and bring out the best in one another. Last but not least, the families, I feel so blessed to be supported and valued by them every day.
Beyond your subject-area, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? I want my students to understand the value in being a good person and good friend, and spreading happiness wherever they go. It is important that we respect one another and lend a helping hand when needed.
Do you have a sports team or art form that you particularly enjoy or cheer for? I LOVE football! I cheer on my SMU Ponies and UGA Bulldogs every Saturday, and spend Sundays cheering on my Atlanta Falcons. I was born and raised in Atlanta, so when the Falcons made it to the Super Bowl last year I had my whole class cheering on the Falcons. I still cant discuss the loss...too soon!
What is your favorite book and why? Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. I read it almost every year to my students. It teaches so many life lessons about growing up, letting go, and building life long friendships.
What motivated and inspired you to teach? For me, the motivation and inspiration to teach is very simple. I am shaping and sharing the future with each student I teach. While key concepts, strategies, and formulas are important components of an academic education, helping students build responsibility, accountability, and character is equally important.
Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? The students' passion for learning is the reason I come to ESD every day. Perhaps the greatest example of this passion happens every Friday at Lower School's Chess Club when students arrive as early at 6:50 a.m. for a club that starts at 7:00. What better reason can I have!
What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? My job as an educator, parent, grandparent, and citizen is to help build students that will become assets to society. These students should understand their responsibility, have a work ethic, dare to dream, and show respect for one another.
What is a hobby nobody would guess you would have? Going for early morning walks (before school...at 4:40 a.m.) is my hobby and allows me some quiet time. Some of my best ideas come from my daily morning walks. Also, I have 5 grandchildren with one more on the way, and all of our children and grandchildren live within 4 miles of our home.
What is your favorite book and why? The Children's Book of Virtues is my favorite book because it explains how to live your life.
What motivated and inspired you to teach? My mother has always been my biggest supporter and inspiration. Her kindergarten classroom was my favorite place to visit. I vividly remember playing in the supply closet, “testing” games, and helping her create bulletin boards. She helped me turn my playroom into my own very classroom. My dolls were the best writers and readers on the block!
Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? The community: the students are inspiring and it is an honor to guide them each day. It is hard to not be excited surrounded by bright, kind, and curious six year olds! Additionally, one of my greatest joys has been getting to know so many families. The level of support I have received has been endless and I feel beyond blessed! The administration, teachers and staff at ESD are second to none; caring, brilliant, fun... I could go on forever!
What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? My goal is to help children embrace the magic, happiness, and natural curiosity of what it means to be a kid long after their childhoods have passed.
Do you have a sports team or art form that you particularly enjoy or cheer for? I am a huge Texas Longhorn. I've got burnt orange roots that run deep! I have been watching football, baseball, basketball, softball, swimming (and more!) with my dad since before I could walk. The Texas-OU football game weekend is my favorite *holiday* and I wouldn't miss it for anything. I even went 9 months pregnant. I am proud to say my son Jack's first phrase was Hook 'em Horns!
If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be? Lin-Manuel Miranda, Vince Young, and Queen Elizabeth
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