One Day,

I want students to believe they can accomplish any goal or dream they make for themselves…

What is your educational background?

I graduated from Misericordia University in May 2019. I have a dual major in early elementary education and special education.

What or who inspired you to become an educator?

I am a teacher who stutters. I was born with my stutter and have always tried to see it as a positive aspect of my life. When I am in ’teacher mode’ the stutter is not noticeable at all. Although I have students who do not notice it, I still speak about it around them, using it as a way to inspire them. I show them that I never let this unique aspect of my life stop me from accomplishing my dreams of being a teacher.

My mother inspired me to be an educator. She is someone who always believed in me. She never saw my stutter as a problem, and she found a way to make any circumstance positive. She gave me strength when I needed an extra push. Since I was young, she has always said, “Find your happy.” It took me a while to figure out what exactly she meant by this, but at the age of 23, I finally understand. My mother always wanted me to embrace my differences and find my passion. Teaching and helping our future generations grow is something I have always loved doing. I want to be that strength and inspiration for my scholars and be that person that pushes them to achieve their greatest dreams in life.

What roles have you had in the sphere of education?

While in college, I completed my student teaching in a kindergarten class and a 4th-grade learning support class. I created and implemented a variety of differentiated lessons during these 6 months.

Currently, I am a full-time building substitute at Propel Braddock Hills Elementary School. I work with students in kindergarten to fifth grade. I am blessed Propel took a chance with me as a recent college graduate. I truly believe I made so much growth this year professionally. Being a building substitute also allowed me to build amazing relationships with students and families throughout the building.

Why are you still in the field of education?

Teaching is something I can see myself doing forever. Some people with different careers talk about how they can’t wait to retire in the future. I am young, but I cannot imagine not teaching and being in the school environment. I wake up excited to go to work and see all my kids.

I love getting to inspire my students to never give up on themselves and their dreams. I hate hearing students say “I CAN’T.” It is even worse when I can visibly see that the students truly believe they can’t accomplish something. I push my students to try new things and work hard to reach their goals. I find ways to help them overcome obstacles that they see as impossible. When appropriate, I use my stuttering story to give them extra motivation or inspiration.

I want to give my students a safe place that allows them to explore and learn. I want to help teach my scholars so much more than just academics. I love getting to watch them grow academically, emotionally, mentally, physically, behaviorally, and more. I want my scholars to know how much I care about them and how much I believe in them.

What changes can you make to shift the field towards equity and justice?

First, I love working at Propel. I feel like Propel spends a lot of time making sure they are meeting all the staff, students, and families’ needs.

Some things I have seen in other schools that cause problems are budget cuts, no support and class size. When I can, I try to donate supplies to schools in need. A long time from now, when I am older and not teaching my own classroom, I would love to be an extra support in schools that need it.

One day what do you hope for?

One day, I hope “I Can” cultures are developed in all schools. I want students to believe they can accomplish any goal or dream they make for themselves. I don’t want them to think any disability or difference can stop them from achieving something. Instead of saying “I can’t” and stopping something, I want students to begin to say “I can’t yet.” This one extra word shows that they know they will be able to accomplish their goals one day. I want every student to know someone believes in them.