Meet the Teacher

I am participating in TBA's Open House Week!  Yay!  Monday is all about moi!  So get cozy and learn a lot about me! :)
Open House Week
I grew up on the central Oregon coast.  Its so completely beautiful there, but the ocean is freezing and sideways rain happens for about 10 months out of the year.  And the fog!  My gosh!  Sometimes you can barely see the tip of your car while you are driving!  So scary!  Needless to say, I love to visit and cherish my childhood memories there, but I am so glad I don't live there anymore!

I went to college at the University of Oregon, home of the Ducks and the best uniforms in college football!  Haha.  Seriously, Eugene has a terrible rep for being a party school and a pot smoker's paradise, but it is beautiful and has so many fun things to do around town.  You can hike several buttes, float and raft down two different rivers, and even shop!  Coming from a town of 8,000, Eugene (which had 75,000 when I lived there) seemed ginormous!  I loved going to college there and encourage everyone to visit!
My husband and I met on the 4th of July between my sophomore and junior year of college.  He was about to move to Steamboat Springs, Colorado to start a program at the local college there to learn how to operate his own ski shop.  He's a complete ski bum and even raced at Gonzaga University for a year.  But, he met me and we talked on the phone everyday for about four months.  He ended up moving back to Oregon by spring term and we've been together ever since!  We were the first out of our friends to get married (I was 23 and he was newly 24), so we always seem to be the ones our friends go to for advice.  I guess we know what we're doing since we're still married! :)  We have two beautiful children: a son who is 6 and a daughter who is 2.  They are a total joy and so much fun to be around!  I couldn't imagine my life without my crazy family! 
This is my nineth year of teaching.  I can't believe it's been that long!  Right after I graduated from U of O, my hubby and I moved to Portland (where he's from).  I started a part time graduate program at Pacific University outside Portland and got a job teaching private kindergarten in a daycare facility for $11 an hour.  Yup.  That's how much a college degree is worth, people!  Haha.  Surprise, surprise, I ended up hating it and quit by spring break.  I taught preschool at a different learning center through that spring and summer.  The next year I was an educational aide for the Title I program in a suburban district of Portland.  I absolutely loved it!  When I retire, I want to be a Title I assistant.  It is seriously the best job ever!  I got to teach small groups and got to know my students well, but I didn't have to plan for my groups and I didn't have to do too much behavior management, since they were all small groups.  It was the best!  The next year was when our son was born, and wanting to be closer to family, we moved to the coast to live near my parents and I completed my first year of classroom teaching in first grade.  It was so hard! I had a newborn, was in a small community without any friends, and all the other teachers were easily 20 years my senior.  They were great and so nice, but I didn't feel like I had the support system I needed.  By the end of the year, we packed up and moved back to Portland.  I got a job teaching kindergarten at a school in a very impoverished neighborhood in Portland and I already had a friend who worked there.  I knew it would be a good fit!  I ended up staying at that school for five years!  Two years in kinder, two years in first grade, and one year in third grade.  The best experience was looping up from kinder to first, then two years later, having almost half of that class again in 3rd!  I am so lucky to have been those kids' teacher.  I will forever remember them!
Fast forward to now.  I live in beautiful Lanai, Hawaii and teach my dream grade, 2nd!  My husband had a job opportunity here, so I applied to the state (Hawaii has a statewide system, not individual districts, like Oregon).  I was offered a position in Maui and Lanai, so my husband and I visited both schools and towns in early July.  We ended up liking Lanai the best and accepted the offer that weekend!  It is hard moving across an ocean, packing up your belongings, and saying goodbye to family and friends, but I really felt like we were ready for a change.  Being here has been so rejuvenating for me.  But also humbling.  I am learning so much from everyone and learning how other schools and other communities operate.  I feel so blessed to be a part of such a caring, safe, and friendly community.  I really think that there is no other place on the planet like Lanai.  It is so absolutely wonderful and I am so happy we made this leap and went on this adventure.  I'm not sure if we are going to stay a year, two years, or forever, but whatever we decide, I'm happy we did it.  

And don't let me forget - we got a new puppy on Saturday!  He came on a plane from Oahu, is a Brittany Spaniel, is 9 weeks old and is named Bruce!

So that's me in a nutshell!  Tell me something fun about yourself!  Do we have anything in common?

4 comments

  1. Nice to hear you are a Duck too! Did you do the College of Ed program? I loved it while I was there and did the entire 5 year program. I really miss being able to watch the Ducks on T.V. but teaching internationally does have its perks. Keep up the great work.

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    1. Thanks Rorey! I was in the Ed Foundations program, not IT, so grad school wasn't lumped in. I was happy about it, though because I was ready to leave Eugene after graduation. I went to grad school at Pacific in Forest Grove instead and really liked getting to experience a big public university and a small private college. Both were great learning experiences!
      Where do you teach abroad? That sounds so exciting!
      Nicole

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