I knew for many years that I wanted to become a teacher because I always enjoyed school. I liked learning new things, having academic discussions and debates, and being around education professionals who loved what they taught. I would often become very sad when the academic school year ended and always signed up for summer school classes because I missed being in a learning environment. So it appeared that becoming a teacher would be an obvious choice for me. What drew me to education was the chance to share my passion for learning and to use my academic successes and struggles to help the future generations. My educational story was molded by so many educators and becoming a teacher would give me the ability to give back what my educators had shared with me.
My strongest influence to be an educator was from my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Diane Nachtigal. As early as third grade, I had fallen behind in basic reading skills. I was not completing my homework or participating in class when the class was reading aloud because I couldn’t read the words on the page. It was Mrs. Nachtigal that noticed, many other teachers had ignored the warning signs or scolded me for not doing my homework because they assumed I just didn’t want to do it. If it wasn’t for Mrs. Nachtigal, I may have fallen through the cracks and never lived up to my full potential.
As I went through elementary, middle and high school I found that I excelled and enjoyed many subjects, but mostly English, Reading, Anatomy and Physiology, and Health education. When I toured UW-Platteville as a junior, I was drawn to their Physical and Health Education program because it would push me as a learner and as an educator, but it was also a subject I was very passionate about. I graduated in December 2013 from UW-Platteville with an undergraduate degree in K-12 Physical and Health Education with an adapted education certification. After graduating I gained experience by becoming a substitute in the local schools. It was a very influential experience because I was subbing in all grade and subject areas. I learned much about myself and the teaching profession during that time.
During the summer of 2014, I applied for full time teaching jobs in Physical and Health Education, but was limited on the search area criteria because my husband was finishing his undergraduate program at UW-Platteville. With limited job openings in my degree area, I also applied for a full-time Special Education teaching assistant position at one of the schools I had frequently substitute taught in. During my time as a Special Education teaching assistant, I fell in love with Special Education and sought to learn as much as I could from my supervising Special Education teacher. In the spring of 2015, I went back to UW-Platteville to obtain a Cross Categorical Special Education license and complete a master’s degree in Elementary Education.
While attending graduate classes and working towards achieving my cross categorical special education license, I was issue an emergency license to teacher special education. In the Fall of 2015, I accepted a full-time position teaching Middle School Special Education at the Mineral Point Middle School. I currently still teach in Mineral Point and my husband and I moved into the Mineral Point community last year.