Growing up in a large rural area in Illinois, I had teachers that I admired, respected, and still remember. I had always wanted to be a teacher, but in my junior year of high school, our family moved to a very small rural area near St. James, Missouri. My goals changed when I met my husband, graduated from high school, and started work at the area manufacturing company. My dream of becoming a teacher was put on hold for over 20 years while I worked, lived on a farm, and raised two children with my husband.
Ten years ago the company closed, giving me the opportunity to rekindle my dream to become a teacher. While working as a secretary and attending night school, I earned my B.S. in elementary education. I went on to become certified in middle school language arts, mathematics, and social studies. In December 2004, I received my master’s degree in Education, and now I am in my fifth year of teaching at Crawford County R-II Middle School. I enjoy every day. When times get rough, I think back to my elementary and junior high years in Illinois and want to be like the teachers I had admired. Be positive. Being and staying positive in today’s society is something that must be practiced daily. My classroom is focused on positive behavior and discipline. I feel that students can feel safe and are more apt to learn in a positive atmosphere. Remember, just a word of praise or a simple hello in the hallway can lift a student’s self-esteem to greater heights.