I have been teaching for 12 years. It has been a wonderful adventure. My Resume contains a brief description of all of my teaching I’ve done so far, not including the job I’ve not yet started in Detroit for the 2017-2018 school year.
My first year teaching was at Thomas Jefferson Junior High in Kearns, Utah. I worked with Miguel Garcia and taught Algebra 1, Pre-Algebra and Math 7. I had some great teachers to work with there and great students. I remember several of them, but one in particular stood out to me. He was a good kid who came from a rough home life. His goal was to really understand math well so he could keep on going in school and be the first person in his family to graduate from high school. He was a really good worker but also had to work at overcoming the difficulties of his home life. Teaching there ended as I was offered a job teaching at a charter school the next year.
Legacy Preparatory Academy was just opening it’s school in the fall of 2006. We didn’t even have our building ready to move into for the first few months. Some of the school met at the University of Utah’s satellite campus in Bountiful, while grades 7-9 met at the Bountiful Community church. My “classroom” had an old, gross toilet attached to it and the whiteboard was from someone’s house, propped up with an easel. When we moved into our new building, it made our appreciation of it that much greater. Legacy Preparatory had fantastic families and amazing fellow teachers. LPA’s charter was based on providing a better education by following a classical model. All students had to learn Latin. At LPA, I taught using Saxon Math and saw great improvement in student mental math abilities. I taught Math 5/4, 6/5, 8/7, Algebra 1/2, and Pre-calculus. I oversaw the creation of the yearbook and worked with some wonderful parents on that project. I loved my time working there but after 3 years, I moved on to Syracuse Arts Academy.
Syracuse Arts Academy was based on learning through the arts. I integrated art into nearly every lesson and really pushed students to be their best self and better mathematicians. I taught Math 8, Algebra 1, and Math Lab. I also advised the student body officers and helped out with the yearbook as well. This meant I helped students organize school activities and enjoyed working with wonderful parents as well. After two years at SAA, I moved closer to family and changed schools.
West Jordan High School was a marvelous experience. High school students provided a fun difference in the age groups I had been teaching. Here I worked with MESA, taught Algebra 2, College Prep, Math Lab, Secondary Math 2, Secondary Math 3, and honors classes. This was an interesting time as we made an abrupt transition into teaching from the new Utah Core. While at WJHS, I was able to also participate on a state level at evaluating and writing items for the state standardized test, the SAGE. With that, I learned very thoroughly what is in the core, what goes into writing questions, and how deeply my students needed to understand each standard. After three years, I was offered a job I couldn’t resist: one with smaller class sizes and teacher aids.
Early Light Academy has been thus far my favorite place to teach in many ways. Not that the other schools were horrible, but this school had the perfect combination of incredible administration, cooperative coworkers, efficient systems, professional trust and respect, students that loved me and I adored, and a beautiful campus. I taught Secondary Math 1, Secondary Math 2, Math Lab, Math 8, and Calculus. My favorite thing students have said especially at this school is “Math has been my least favorite subject, but I love your class and I can actually kind of do math now.”
Wanting to be closer to my family again, I have just moved to Michigan where I will be teaching at Warrendale Charter Academy. It is part of a network of charter schools that come and help students in communities that need an extra boost with incredible educators and support. I hope that my skills and abilities will increase my students confidence in math, that will also trickle into all aspects of life.