Physical Education and Health Teacher, Colonel Richardson High School, Caroline County
Former TAM Participant
What do you love about teaching?
The relationships with my students are my favorite thing about teaching. I am always learning new things, and learning keeps me young which is nice because I am getting older! I have high school seniors right now who are going to become teachers, so helping them through that process is really fun. Our county is small, so I know all of the students, and all of my coworkers, which makes my job very personal.
In Maryland we have everything. We have agriculture, we have water, we have watermen, but we still have the big city, businesses and our students can go and do whatever they like in our state. The possibilities are endless in a state like Maryland.
Why did you become a teacher?
I always knew that I wanted to teach, and I guess it just runs in my family. My grandmother is a retired teacher; my mother just retired after her 34th year teaching; and my aunt just completed her 30th year. I remember I was in my high school PE class with my softball coach, and she asked me to help with the special education students, and from there I just knew that I wanted to help.
I love children, because they are so much fun. They make me laugh every day. At the high school I teach at I learn from them every day. It's always different and exciting. High school games are great to attend, and hang out with the kids.
Can you describe your pathway to this profession?
My path to teaching began with my high school counselor. My guidance counselor enrolled me in the four Teacher Academy of Maryland classes: Human Growth and Development, Teaching as a Profession, Curriculum and Instruction, and an Educational Internship.Three other of my classmates and I were the first to complete the program.
TAM gave me a foundation that prepared me for college and my teaching career. I was able to plan lessons, explore standards, create objectives, observe many different teachers, attend career days, and teach. With all of these experiences, I felt as if I was a step ahead when I began college. I had experience in the classroom. Now, as the TAM instructor, I help students pursue something they love and want to pursue as their profession. Knowing that I am aiding in their future and dreams is the best feeling!
Do you have any advice for young teachers, or those who are considering this profession?
The first thing that I would say is that teaching is 24/7. You have to be prepared for that, and enjoy it. No matter where you go, someone is going to see you, notice you, and recognize you. I like seeing my students while I’m out. I can go somewhere close by and see someone who knows me; or I can drive two hours away and run into a current or former student. You have to be on your toes, knowing you are a role model 24/7, wherever you are in life.
Also, I would suggest that if you want to go into this profession and you have a TAM program in your school, take advantage of it! TAM is a wonderful program. The program allows students to get exposure in the classroom in high school. We have real life conversations, we do hands on with planning and implementing what is created. After this program, if teaching is not the pathway, these students have learned so many life lessons that will assist them in any career path. If a completer plans to pursue education, they will have many experiences that will allow them to excel in college!