I grew up in Shelton, Washington, and becoming a teacher was possibly the last thing I could have imagined. My dad taught and coached in the Shelton School District and though I enjoyed school (well, mostly), and loved basketball and baseball, I couldn't imagine wanting to actually be a part of that world.
I started my college career at the University of Puget Sound, and later transferred to The Evergreen State College. Physics was my passion, and I wanted to eventually become a screenwriter working in science fiction movies or television. I may have fancied myself a young Isaac Asimov or Arthur C. Clarke... ahem... During my studies, I realized that mathematics was limiting my progress in physics so I transferred to the math department where I fell in love with math and never looked back, eventually earning my B.S. in mathematics.
I worked for many years doing computer programming and consulting, working for Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, and ultimately starting a small company with two friends. I worked with Childrens' Administration and Fish & Wildlife among other projects, but to be honest, life in the cubicle never seemed very meaningful to me. Everything changed when my niece asked for help with high school calculus. I learned how much fun it is to work with a young mathematician, and began to tutor other students in math. A friend who teaches math asked whether I had ever considered becoming a teacher and the seed was planted.
I went back to school at Evergreen to earn my Master in Teaching with endorsements in secondary and middle-level mathematics. During the 2015-2016 school year, I was a long-term substitute teacher at Nisqually Middle School teaching math, and then at Chambers Prairie Elementary teaching science. During the summer of 2016, I added an endorsement in secondary physics. Even though being a new teacher is possibly the most challenging thing I have ever done, it is also by far the most rewarding.
This is my fourth year as a full-time teacher, and I simply love it. I began this adventure imagining myself in a high school classroom, but I also learned that middle school is where a lot of students learn whether they are "good" or "bad" at math, and these perceptions seem really entrenched by the time students get to high school. I chose middle school because I want to be right in the middle of students lives as they become young adults and young mathematicians. It is my sincere belief that all students can be as successful at math as they wish to be.