With almost 44 years of life under my belt, it’s difficult to sum up the entirety of my identity, but here are the bare facts, as they relate to education. I was born in Heidelberg, Germany, to American parents and moved to Texas before I was 3. I always knew I wanted to learn German. I took Spanish in grades 7–9, and then German in 10–12, as soon as it was offered. I majored in German and English and got my teaching certificate (secondary) in both subjects. I taught both for 1 1/2 years and then managed to expand the German program enough that I could teach full-time German for the remainder of the 5 years that I taught. This was all at Bellaire High School, a magnet school for foreign languages in Houston.
After those 5 years, my husband and I decided to start a family, and I opted to be a stay-at-home mother. I’ve had a few part-time jobs along the way. I taught German and assisted to teach Japanese and ASL at a private school world languages course. I also briefly taught physical education at that same school. I’ve had a few tutoring jobs over the years, as well — algebra, German, and English. I homeschooled my children for a few years around middle school. And for 6 years, I co-owned a fitness business and taught fitness kickboxing.
As I began to burn out and lose my passion for teaching kickboxing, I sat down with a friend to figure out why I was unhappy and what it was I wanted to do with my life. She helped me figure out that although I was tired of the drama that I was shocked to realize still occurs between women in their 30s and 40s, and while I was tired of being surrounded with the unattainable pursuit of physical “perfection”, what I really had enjoyed about the fitness industry was the TEACHING aspect of it. I am a teacher at heart.
So I enrolled in UMass Boston (online) in pursuit of a Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics with a focus in Foreign Language Pedagogy. I’m taking one class at a time, getting caught up on current educational philosophies and practices, and exploring my options, trying to figure out how I can best be of service to my community once my children graduate high school.
In addition to my classes, I do some tutoring, I volunteer some at the local high school (mostly tutoring), and I volunteer teach English to adults in our community through Intercambio. I’m also attempting to write on a somewhat regular basis. . . to reflect on and deepen my learning.