As a three-year-old, I wanted nothing more than to go to school like my big brothers, so my parents sent me for two years of preschool at a local church. Following that, we all went to our Lutheran church’s day school through 8th grade. I graduated in a class of just 18 students and had the good fortune of learning from teachers who, by and large, made school an interesting and joyful place to grow.
I attended a large, urban public high school, where I had the opportunity to take several AP courses, including a Humanities course that constituted about 70% of the actual education I received there. The other 30% was in my 11th and 12th grade math courses. I graduated Valedictorian. I received the National Merit Scholarship and attended Hope College in Holland, Michigan, where I got to study philosophy, Middle English, and non-Euclidean geometry. I received my degree in education with certification in both English and Mathematics.
I began my teaching career in Kyoto, Japan, where I taught English lessons for NOVA, a large eikaiwa. There, my students ranged in age from preschoolers to retirees and as broadly in skill level. Upon returning to the U.S., I taught high school English at my alma mater, including AP Literature & Composition, a course for which I wrote my own curriculum. After four years, due to movement in the union, I was displaced from the high school and began teaching 7th grade mathematics at the district’s middle school. After two years there, I left public education in order to serve in a small parish school where I now teach 5th – 8th grade mathematics, American history, Western Civilization, and economics from 8:00-3:00.
The rest of the time, I teach my own kids everything.