Favorite vacation destination/hobby: I don't have a favorite vacation destination because I love traveling so much that I'm always excited about wherever I go. I've been fortunate to travel to much of the United States and several sites overseas.
"What is the thing you like most about your work?" My favorite aspect of teaching music is being able to get children excited about the world of music in all its forms. Passion is contagious and I love seeing them light up with joy and excitement when performing songs with different genres, cultures, and themes.
"How has teaching enhanced your skills in other areas of life?" Teaching has made me more attuned to interpersonal skills and how they impact relationships. I often think that if grown-ups thought more about the lessons they are taught as children, in regards to empathy and manners, everyone would get along better.
"What is the funniest thing a student has said to you?" So many things over 18 years of teaching! When I was a first year teacher, my husband surprised me by showing up with pizza at work. He didn't realize I had a class at the time and one of my kindergarten students said (very impressed) "Wow! Your son is the pizza man?"
"What was the hardest teaching skill to learn?" The hardest skill to learn was how to manage the enormous amount of work that's required outside of teaching in order to be excellent in the classroom. It's still a challenge, but it always gets done!
"What is the biggest misconception about teaching?" I don't think people realize how well teachers know their students and how much they care about them. We spend hours, in my case up to 6 years, with students and we know them very well. We also know them in a setting that is different from home or after-school activities and sometimes, like in music, completely separate from their regular life. We have moments of great success with them and moments that are challenging. But, all those moments form relationships that are meaningful and lend themselves to insight about children that is valuable and important.
"Why do you love Ritchie Park?" I love Ritchie Park because of our amazing staff and wonderful students! In my tenure, I've worked at 10 MCPS elementary schools but have never worked with a staff that cares more for kids or works together more collegially than at Ritchie Park.
Favorite Movie: Right now it's The Greatest Showman.
Favorite Musician: Too many to name!
Favorite Quote: "Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them. A world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music." -Gerald Ford