Is your style of teaching inspired by any of your past teachers?
“My style of teaching was not inspired by a high school teacher that I had, because I didn’t like any of my high school teachers. My style of teaching was really mentored by, maybe my college professors, but it’s also based off who I am as a person.
“I think that one of my skills and gifts that I have is my relationship with kids. I build off that relationship and my love of literature and my love of teaching life through literature. I think I’m a pretty good teacher, I know I could get better, I’d love to see what other teaches at West Linn do here that is successful.
“I think it’s important as a teacher that we are always learning and growing. So, if I’m not satisfied with how I am as a teacher, I always want to get better and better and better, but my college professors definitely inspired me.”
Going back to how you were saying that you didn’t really like your high school teachers, do you think that helps you relate to the kids that you’re teaching better?
“I think that when I realized what a teacher could be, I realized that I didn’t have those in high school. The reason I wanted to get into teaching was to be the teacher that as a kid, I craved.
“Certainly, I had teachers that were wicked strict, and it was their way or the highway. And there was no give and take, it was more of a dictatorship. I like more of a democracy in my classroom. I like other people to have voices. I don’t want to sit up in the front of the classroom and talk all the time.”
Outside of the classroom, what are some of your interests or hobbies?
“I like to stay active, so whether it’s working out, or running, or hiking. We have three dogs, so they get a lot of exercise.
“We love camping, though we don’t do it enough because our kids are in sports, so it’s not easy.
“I love to read. I’m reading a book right now, and over the summer I’ll probably be reading two or three books at a time. Spring break I probably read five or six books. I just love reading.”
Any favorite authors or genres?
“Probably not great for an English teacher to admit, but my guilty pleasure is spy novels.
“So, I read the entire “Mitch Rapp” series, I think there’s twelve or thirteen books. And “American Assassin,” is based on “Mitch Rapp,” the movie that came out like, last week. I haven’t seen it, because I don’t think the movies are as good as the books.”
Is it difficult to balance your interests with teaching?
“Yes and no. I love teaching, so it’s not hard for me to come to work, it’s not hard for me to come in on the weekend and prepare. If I hated teaching, then it would be a drag.
“But, you know, weekends are precious for me because I get to see my family, so we do as much as we can in a weekend.
“But again, I’ve been able to create a balance. I think that’s really important. So, I balance teaching here at West Linn, I balance my family, I balance time for myself versus time for all you kids. It’s tough, but it’s very doable.”