About Me

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I was born and raised in Salem, Oregon and graduated from Sprague High School in 2004.  I continued my educational journey over the next four years at Linfield College, where I graduated in 2008 with a BA in History.  During that time I also completed my teaching licensure requirements, and began my professional career in the fall of 2008.

I just finished my third year of teaching and coaching, and I love what I do!  I work in the McMinnville School District and have worked at most of the secondary schools in the district (due to budget cuts, etc.)  I taught courses in World Geography and United States History to seventh and eighth-grade students at Duniway Middle School (under this year's National Middle School Principal of the Year) and Patton Middle School, and am now teaching Modern History at McMinnville High School.  I am also an avid sports fan and former college athlete, and I serve as the head coach for the varsity boys’ tennis team at McMinnville High School. Before coaching at MHS, I spent one year as the assistant tennis coach for the men’s and women’s programs at my alma mater, Linfield College. 

I am an educator and a coach because of one major influence: my parents. They are both recently retired educators who taught in the Salem-Keizer School District. I essentially grew up at Sprague High School and spent my entire childhood either at school or on the ball field with them. They were and continue to both be tremendously powerful influences in my life, and their dedication, time, and commitment to their craft and their students over the years made me realize that I wanted to do the same thing for my future profession: educate. I wanted to help students look at historical events, problems, and issues, and once I helped them realize the importance of these events and trends, I wanted to assist them in taking their newfound knowledge into the real world, to apply their knowledge, and to use their critical thinking skills to help run society. And I can gladly say that my dream has come true and I am educating the future of America today.

As an educator I value students who are willing to work hard, keep an open mind about their ideas and their classmates’ ideas, and I also value these qualities in my colleagues as well. In life I value friendship, honesty and hard work: which are central tenets to my educational philosophy as well. In my short career as an educator I have placed these values at the forefront of my professionalism and efforts to educate my students, and have seen these values take hold in each school I have worked in as well. I will continue to value these central tenets in life and in my professional career.

My proudest moments as an educator are when I see students achieve the “a-ha” moment. When a student finally grasps a concept, passes a tough test, receives accolades and praise from a fellow student. These are all great moments in the life of any educator. This is a prime reason why I teach. My educational philosophy or approach to education aligns itself with the social reconstruction approach. My goal is for my students to gain essential knowledge and critical thinking skills from my social studies classes, and then to provide them with application or synthesis-based activities so that they can take these skills and in turn apply them to practical or real-life situations outside of a school setting. I have found much success in this approach throughout my first three years of teaching and believe that this approach lends itself nicely to the social sciences. In addition to the social sciences, I believe that this philosophy or approach to teaching is very applicable to other content areas as well.

In conclusion, I am excited to be an educator and am excited to continue my studies this term as a graduate student. It has been over two years since I last took college classes and I am anxious to jump back into my studies. I enjoy discussing educational philosophy and varying approaches to education, and look forward to learning more about how to apply the internet to better usage in my classroom, through my experiences in this course.