Who help me become this person I am today?
My mother has had a huge impact on my life as a child and to this day. I really cannot deny it even it I wanted to. I am so much like her, and proud of it. As a child, my mother was a role model for me in so many ways. As a mother she was the one who read me books, took care of me when I was sick, made sure I did my homework, answered any question or concern no matter the nature, brought up the tough topics and helped me solve them. She is still the one I go to when I need help or have great news to share. As a working parent she showed me how to balance two important worlds, she showed me the importance of having a good work ethic and the value of contributing to our family financially as well as being a nurturer. My mother showed me the importance of choosing a profession you are passionate about. She was a teacher and a great influence on why I became a teacher as well. As a student, she showed me how important education is to our future. She went back to school for her masters degree in education with four kids at home and a husband who worked many hours to help support the family. As a child I developed my own classroom in a empty portion of our apartment building. My mother would bring home old worksheets and workbooks the school was discarding. I guess I got to be the teacher because my mother provided the materials. Over the summer break from school I would run my own classroom, teach lessons, assign work, and even give home work to the neighborhood kids. I had a lot of fun playing school and I never stopped.
My dad was a Vietnam Vet who brought back many memories from the war. I always new that time in his life was very difficult and he was never really able to get past it all. He had an hour commute each way to work, so he was not able to be home as much as he or I would have liked. Even as a child I understood, he was at work and need to support our family. Unfortunately, this made it difficult for him to be a close part of my life as a child. His influence on my life came in the form of creative expression, strong work ethic, and an appreciation for our troops. He was an artists for the war, and in his spare time. As a child, we spent Christmas Eve with my dad’s side of the family. My dad instilled the importance of gifts from our own hands and hearts were the most special we could give our relatives. Every year my dad helped us create works of art to give our family. We made ornaments, candles, gingerbread houses that looked like their own houses, etc. I looked forward to this special time with my dad. I have continued this tradition with my own children. I feel it is so important to pass on important tradition and values from one generation to the next. I use this creative side of my self often in my classroom to inspire my students and make learning fun.
Uncle Jimmy & Aunt Pam
When I was young, I spent a few weeks every summer at my aunt and uncles house. My aunt taught me how to sew and my uncle taught me his love for plants. I looked forward to these visits. As the years went on, they had 3 children of their own. This was one of my first experiences helping to care for and teach young children. I learned a lot about children, spending time with my cousins. As an adult, I know the time I spent with them has shaped my desire to work with young children and my passion for gardening which I love to bring into my classroom and share with children.
David is one of my older brothers. He had a lot of influence in my life as a child. David taught me how to roller-skate by taking me to the top of the driveway and giving me a push. I went fast, caught the sand at the bottom, fell, and scraped up my legs. He made me get up and do it again. He taught be to ski by going to the top of the slope and giving me a push. I went fast, slipped, and fell. Again, he made me get up, and keep trying. He tried to help me stop sucking my thumb by putting hot sauce on it. That did not work, but I do like spicy foods. He taught me if I wanted the T.V. first after school, I needed to run faster off the school bus. Although these memory sounds harsh and they were at the time, he really did teach me to be tough, keep trying, never give up. Which are valuable lesson I use everyday as a parent, teacher, and student? In retrospect, he was a caring big brother by two years, willing to spend time teaching his little sister to the best of his ability, even when I wanted to give up.
Maria, Heather, & Kim
These we my three closest childhood friends growing up. Maria is my younger sister by two years, I met Heather when we were5 years old, she moved in down the road, and Kim I met in elementary school. They were always there to comfort, support, and challenge me through the years. We played together, did sleepovers, fought with each other, learned to do hair and makeup
together, and talked about boys together. They have all had different influences on my life, but as a whole, they gave me the confidence to be my self and develop into who ever I needed to be. As a child, I was very shy and quiet in school and social situations. No one believes that now, who know me as an adult. I feel these girls and my family are why I was able to grow past an insecure little girl and become a confident, mother, teacher, and student today. These are still my three closet friends who I will cherish forever.