MY JOURNEY TO BECOME AN EDUCATOR
Many childhood events led me to teaching. I now consider it a calling in my life’s journey. However, I come from a long line of residential builders. So, my first love was to become an architect. My grandfather taught me to draft blueprints when I was 10 years old. I designed and built my first house in 1982, and I currently hold a Florida State Certified Building Contractor’s License. No, really, I do…
Raising a family first, I made a decision to finish my education when my son entered the third grade, in 1987. I finally graduated, in 1995, from the University of Central Florida, in Orlando, FL. Hey, it only took me eight years. (I had Little League games to attend and birthday parties to plan.)
HOW I BECAME A TEACHER/AUTHOR
Now, 25 years have flown by! Every day I can honestly say that I truly love what I do. I have been honored as Teacher of the Year at two different schools, was recognized as Polk County Math Teacher of the Year and AIChE Math Teacher of the Year in 2001. I also received Orange County Math Teacher of the Year in 2010. I earned my NBCT Professional certificate in AYA Mathematics in 2001.
I’ve taught high school math from Pre-Algebra to AP Calculus AB. With each passing year, I hear so many educators lament about how they need more time to plan and design great lessons. I have also seen a decline in the quality and rigor that I demanded for my students with each new textbook adoption. That’s where my obsession with curriculum design and sharing lessons with colleagues begins.
Early in my career I attended a Dinah Zike Foldables event. She had me hooked on brain-based research and the power of graphic organizers. I began to experiment with her ideas and have never looked back. My classroom atmosphere and the attitudes of my students were transformed. Learning became fun and alive. My colleagues just stood back and watched with skepticism. After a very successful year on F.C.A.T. scores for my low-level Algebra 1B students, a few colleagues wanted to try what I was doing. Each night and most weekends, I would diligently work on designing curriculum that we could use. And, the rest is history.
Today, my curriculum for students from Algebra to AP Calculus BC is shared with students around the world. I have a true passion for designing activities and lessons that come alive through active engagement. With decades of practice, reflection, and observation, I am thrilled and excited to share these products with you and your students. In 2017, I retired from my full-time classroom position. I still help my colleague when he needs a “stand-in” for Pre-Calculus or Calculus. It keeps me actively engaged with students, so I can continue to bring high-quality, engaging resources to you and your students.