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English Teacher, North Caroline High School, Caroline County

Former TAM participant

What do you love about teaching? 
Connecting with my students is number one, because I love getting to know them. I think any successful teacher will tell you that getting to know your students makes the job a lot easier. Whether it's going to a student’s soccer game, or going to a school dance, just connecting with them on some level is so important.

The second part of teaching that I love the most is when they enjoy it. It's hard to get 15-year olds to like Shakespeare, so when we are reading things like Macbeth and the kids are laughing about it, or are enjoying it so much that they don’t want to stop reading-- I think those moments are my favorite part of the job.

Why did you become a Teacher? 
I had really amazing teachers growing up. My home life was always a bit of a stresser, so school kind of provided that comfort and stability that I needed. I found that in teachers, during my high school years in particular there were about five women that adopted me. They got me through high school, they got me into college, they got me through college, and now I am working with them! I got a job at the school that I graduated from through the Teacher Academy of Maryland, and so having these huge role models in my life made such a difference.

Can you describe your pathway to this profession? 
I think I always wanted to be a teacher, but in middle school in particular, I just LOVED learning.  I loved the classroom; I loved the teachers; and I just loved the learning environment. That was when I it decided, "This is it, I want to be a teacher." 

I'm actually teaching at the high school I graduated from. I've always stayed in Maryland. Graduated from a Maryland university, and I am now working in a Maryland school. I just love Maryland!

Do you have any advice for young teachers, or those who are considering this profession? 
I would say 'Yes, do it'–– It's a hard job, there are definitely days when I struggle, but it's worth it. For me, I think the most important aspect is making connections with your students while also making connections with your staff. I think your staff can make a difference for you. My mentor, Mrs. Harkham, was actually my 11th grade AP English teacher, and she is my teacher mentor. So having that kind of support system from staff, in addition to really good students is worth it. It's a hard job, but students and supportive colleagues make it worth it.