Whether it is in the classroom, on the page, in front of a group of teachers, on a mountaintop, or nuzzled up with a book and a dog, I see a world of potential learning and believe in living life exponentially. I grew up very poor with no running water or central heating and cars repossessed in the middle of the night and know the empowerment of education. The teachers who had my back and saw beyond the matty-haired little girl with a dirty neck pushed me to move beyond my reality. With my students, I am vulnerably honest about my background, and with teachers I am assertively vocal about equity in our schools because I want everyone to understand: education delivers us to our better selves. I teach because it is a contribution to a democracy I trust in. I teach because I need laughter to fuel my days. I teach because my students hold me to a high bar. I teach because I want every student to know that with knowledge and skill, they can write new endings for themselves, even when they feel hopeless. I want every student to know that with learning comes power to make change.
My professional resume says that I am the author of It’s a Matter of Fact: Teaching Students Research Skills in Today’s Information-Packed World and a contributing author to books such as American Teacher: Heroes in the Classroom and Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now. I routinely write for blogs like Education Week, Education Post, the Washington Post, and AASL’s Knowledge Quest. I spoke about the importance of youth creating primary documents as evidence of their generation at TED2012 and was a National Geographic Teacher Fellow in 2015. I am the 2011 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year and am proud to have built a library program that won the 2017 NH Library Program of the Year award. I am a consultant who works with schools from everything to classroom design to literacy initiatives around the country. I speak and present nationally at conferences.
But when I look in the mirror, I see a mother, wife, friend, farmer, and traveller. I am a potter, dog-owner, wanderer, and writer. But above all, I am always a believer in kids. I am a teacher.