Years Teaching: 36 years
Hobbies/Interests: Olympic reader and lover of science fiction and mysteries; furniture re-finisher; hoping to become a kayaker
What do you enjoy most about teaching? I enjoy connecting with students and sparking interest in subjects they don’t think they like! I enjoy learning about my students’ cultures and experiences, and I enjoy seeing their pride when they talk about their traditions and history. I also love being part of a caring team, all of whom are focused on the well-being and education of our kids.
What do you find most challenging about teaching? Misunderstanding about the second language acquisition process (from fellow teachers, parents, and students themselves) sometimes causes expectations to be either too high or too low. Guiding, meeting, and interpreting those expectations can be a challenge.
Best tip for new teachers: Students will work for you if they know you care about them. Build relationships, and be real.
Best tip for career teachers: Continue to share your excitement about learning with your students. Your passion is contagious!
Favorite piece of advice for students: Learning is not a passive process; you need to take ownership. Remember the words of Brooks Fulbright: “You are not responsible for where you come from, but you are responsible for where you end up in life.”
What being a Gold Star Teacher means to you: Being awarded the Gold Star is a humbling experience. I have been so touched by the good wishes, affirmations, and congratulations I’ve received; and though I never expected to get this kind of recognition–It’s hard to be singled out, especially when I consider the creative, talented, dedicated, and amazing people it has been my pleasure to work with!!–the Gold Star is a very sweet note on which to end my professional teaching career.
Watch Gail’s video here!