Thanks to Seattle Schools educators, along with my innate love for teaching and learning, I had enough experience to start teaching at the rare, young age of 10. My homeschooling experience with my siblings and neighborhood friends, helped me land my first job as a 16 year old high school math tutor. I not only tutored the underclassmen, I coached and motivated them. It was during this time that I discovered that the success of my students meant getting them to tap into the executive functions of their prefrontal cortex. They needed to use their memory and problem-solving abilities to prepare themselves for assessments and other life events that would test their knowledge and abilities. Teaching them to help themselves and not rely on me, was a technique I ended up using throughout my years as a tutor and an educator.
In 2008 I became an employee in a South Carolina public high school where I was placed in a classroom with very little direction and no expectations. My students were pulled from the underserved student population and the school administration expected me to monitor the students, instead of motivating and teaching them. This is also where I gained years of experience as an Online Facilitator. Before I left the school, I baffled the naysayers, earned the respect of my certificated peers, and received love and admiration from my students.
My determination to inspire and motivate the youth led me to my current position with the Seattle School District. Although the students have similar needs and deficiencies, the support they receive is school-wide. The diversity and individual needs of the students have inspired me to continuously and consistently attend trainings and professional development opportunities. I have, and continue to learn, so much about cognitive behavior, mindfulness, and neuroscience so I can assist any student, with any need, academic or otherwise. In this new environment I decided to become more valuable to the youth and a more informed educator by enrolling in an Alternative Route M.Ed. program. The program is preparing me to be an equitable, innovative teacher for all students in any situation.
As the proud mother of two and the proud grandmother of one, my coaching days are never-ending. My experience and enthusiasm for educating and enhancing the lives of youth, especially the underserved and underrepresented population, provides me with the drive, knowledge, organizational skills, and management style necessary for the current remote learning climate. My experience does not stop with the youth – it carries over to the adults and community needs as well. I am a mother, a teacher, an advocate, a leader, and not just a coach, I am a Success Coach and we are all on the same team.