A Little About Me
I am a Christmas baby. I was born on December 23rd, which is Little Christmas Eve in the Danish culture. My mom is from Denmark, so I grew up speaking Danish until I realized nobody else spoke it and refused to speak it anymore. I didn’t realize at the time that being able to speak a second language is a gift and regret not keeping up with it. I can still understand the language, but am no longer fluent.
Where am I from?
When someone asks me where I am from, I always have to pause and think for a moment. I was born in Virginia and moved to a farm in Southern Maryland when I was six years old. I could say I am from Virginia, but I really don’t remember much about it. I remember going to the park behind our house and walking to school and that is about it.
Maryland was a wonderful place to grow up. My father commuted to his job in Washington D.C while my mom was the farmer. During our time in Maryland, my sister and I learned how to appreciate nature, take care of animals, and grow crops. In addition, I was always the girl who wore glasses. I remember my peers calling me four-eyes, but at least I could see!
I could say I am from Maryland, but my father received a job promotion when I was 13 and we moved to Miami, Florida. Talk about culture shock! On the first day of school, I was sent home to change my clothes. Who knew you couldn’t wear shorts to school when it is 80 degrees in December! Miami was another amazing place to grow up. The diverse population and big city opportunities were quite a change from rural Maryland. I dove in and joined the marching band at 14. One day, when getting my hair cut, the hairdresser asked me if I had ever thought about modeling. Ha! I had already come to the conclusion that I was a total dork (see picture below).
However, who knew that one of the most prominent modeling agencies in Miami would sign me at age fifteen.
This brought a whole new set of experiences which included traveling to Tokyo, Osaka, Taipei, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Hamburg, and all over the United States. After graduating from high school, it took five years to complete my AA at Miami-Dade Community College due to my modeling career. One day I came to the realization that modeling provided me with amazing experiences, but it was not rewarding. I didn’t feel like I was making a difference in the world. This is when I decided to become a teacher. I applied and was accepted into the ProTeach program at UF. On the first day of class I remember the professors asking where we were from. I continued to repeat that I wasn’t really sure, Virginia, I guess. Why do people ask this question in the first place? Do they want to find out if they have something in common with you or are they just being polite and don’t know what else to say. Over the years I have continued to move to different cities. Now, when asked where I am from, I would have to say that I am from all of the places that I have lived. Each country, city, and town has taught me something about myself and the world around me.
What have I done?
After graduating from UF, my husband and I stayed in Gainesville, but two years later we moved and moved and moved due to his job. Here is a list of the places and teaching positions I held over those years.
Gainesville (1999-2001) @ Duval Elementary-3rd grade
Miami (2001-2005) @ R.R. Moton Elementary-4th Self-Contained Gifted, 3rd Self-Contained Gifted, K-5 Science Lab, CRT
Raleigh (2005-2008) @ Yates Mill Elementary-2nd grade, CRT
Atlanta (2008-2011) @ Torah Day School (Private)-K-5th Pull-Out Gifted
Gainesville (2011-2012) @ JJ Finley-1st Grade
Gainesville (2012-Present) @ UF-EDE 6948 Internship Seminar, EME 4401: Integrating Technology into the Elementary Classroom, EME 5207: Designing Tech-Rich Curricula, Pre-Internship Supervisor (JJ Finley), EDG 6207: Transforming the Curriculum
Why am I here?
Four years ago, after 13 years of teaching, I decided it was time to head back to school (again) and share my passion for teaching with the next generation of teacher educators. After my fourth year of teaching I was accepted and completed two years in an EdD Educational Technology program at Florida International University, but you guessed it, we moved and I was unable to complete the program. In the end, even though I was eager to teach at the university level early on in my career, I decided to stay in the classroom for a while. I felt it would be best if I truly mastered my pedagogical skills before taking the next step.
Where am I going?
It is funny how people ask PhD students when they will be PHinally Done. I have heard this question at least a hundred times since I began. There is no set schedule when working toward a PhD. It is supposed to take about four years, but some finish in less time and some take much longer. My plan is to finish next summer and apply for positions as a teacher educator and research scholar. Who knows where I will be moving next!
What else would you like to know?