My senior year of high school I read a book called Educating Esme by Esme Raji Codell. (If you haven't read it, stop everything you're doing, go find a copy, and start reading. I will still be here when you come back!) Prior to reading that book, I had briefly thought about teaching as a career, but it was only one of about a dozen dreams I had for the future. After reading Esme's story, I was sold.
During the first semester of my senior year at Hope College in Holland, MI, I applied for Teach for America, a world-changing organization that places teachers in high-need areas all around the United States. I was placed in Baltimore, MD where I taught 6th grade Humanities for four years, and then spent another year as a school librarian.
While I am certainly no Madame Esme, I learned an infinite amount about education, middle schoolers, and myself. We read novels and wrote children's books and put on plays. We built life-size human collages and went camping and had toga parties. We laughed and laughed and laughed. I will always be thankful for these years with these kiddos.
I am not currently in the classroom, as my sweet baby boy Lincoln was born this September, and I am fortunate enough to get to take this year to learn how to be a mama. And of course... to read more great books.
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