Academic Career Statement

11155 W. Brassy Cove Loop #202
Nampa, Idaho 83651
Starting my career in the profession of teaching English, is the boldest, most frightening decision I have ever made.   As a non-traditional student with three kids and  plethora of family responsibilities, the thought of beginning what seemed like an impossible journey was unsettling.  But I had grown to understand the limitations associated with not having an education. I had to reflect upon the future of my children and the effects that shift work was having on my relationship with them. I also had to reflect on my past. I had yet to find my passion, the one thing I loved doing. Change was inevitable. As a single father, the transition brought a heightened sense of responsibility as parent, but there were sacrifices that the entire family had to commit to. Before long, my role as a parent was strengthened, my schedule started to meld with my children, and for the first time in my life my purpose emerged giving me greater fulfillment and happiness.

The enjoyment that I have for teaching English is rooted in my college experience.  As I was encouraged to embrace my personal talents for understanding, I began to understand why so many students struggle in school. I have found that understanding is rarely achieved unless nurtured and encouraged on an individual basis. The right stimulus needs to find its mark in order for the power of learning to unfold.  This is especially true for students at the secondary level.  Unless they are empowered, given the freedom to explore individual ideas and desires, they will walk through their Jr. and Sr. high school years without knowing the purpose for being there.   If reasons for learning are never established, the chances of students to continue forward with their education are lowered substantially.  These truths I found in college, the truths that I never experienced in high school.

Ever since I was a young child, I was told that I was an artist. This always baffled me because even though my imagination was hard at work, I had no idea how to express it and I often wondered how others could see it. In those years, reading was far from what I would call an interest, but I had never been encouraged in the ways that interested me. In fact, teachers rarely talked to me about my interests in connection with reading and writing. In college, everything changed when I was empowered to explore my individual desires within reading and writing. Those dormant artistic inclinations that I could never see suddenly sprung to the surface.  

As I have seen the full range of this dichotomy, I am able to understand more clearly where to focus my teaching methods.  As a high school student of the 80's, I saw reading and writing as a bitter, impersonal experience. In hindsight, however, I can now see that it was a lack of the right kind of encouraged exposure than ability. I needed a mentor not just educator. Anyone can teach a curriculum, but it takes a realistic understanding of students to create lasting understanding. I am interested in students at an individual level, in seeing them enjoy education not because I can make a flawless lesson plan, but because they are able to apply what they are learning to something they find interesting and culturally, socially, and academically relevant. I hope to meet students where they prefer to be met.   

As I move into the classroom and start gaining in-class experience, I will look for opportunities to implement my ideas while learning more about the ideas of students'.   I don't plan on being confined to an unrealistic, stifling box.   I see my teaching methods as a growing, evolving vision of understanding where plans change and students grow.  As soon I feel I have achieved what I feel is the perfect plan, I need to reevaluate whether I am trying to create a classroom of conformity or a classroom of individuals who achieve understanding in similar ways.