My work in childcare didn’t start until after I graduated. I was helping my niece and nephew with their homework when my older sister noted how patient I was with them. She suggested I work at a daycare. After a week of working with kids I knew education was something that I’d be doing for my entire life.
I had been an educator before that, doing some tutoring in high school, running writing workshops in college, but it took the daycare for me to realize that teaching was something I needed to do. I left the daycare seeking more creative freedom in the way I educate my students. I started freelance tutoring because it gave me an opportunity to develop more personal relationships with students, which in turn allowed me to teach more effectively.
I wanted to learn how to be the best educator I can possibly be. To me, this was equal parts emotional and intellectual. My students needed to be happy, healthy, and intellectually stimulated. This was part of my motivation in creating the home school program that I'm finishing teaching in June. I was able to create classes that my student found legitimately interesting, and that alone was enough to re-engage him in the learning process. When we started, he was failing his high school classes and very indifferent towards the academic process. After 8 months of the program, he's now preparing for college. More importantly, he's happier, more vocal, and more confident. These are facts I'm very proud of. I am still building on my craft as a teacher, and I know I have a long way to go, but I am very happy with the progress I’ve been able to make so far.
I will be SmartSitting while...
Writing, writing, writing. And producing film. I've produced some live comedy shows, I do a ton of editing for other writers (making script notes and annotating poems/short stories), I've published a couple of articles on various websites across the internet. I use most of my free time very creatively and proactively. I'm building an entertainment company right now with a team of very talented people. My current projects in this company include an educational show for children, a late night comedy show with a New York stand-up comedian, and an hour long drama. Lately I'll use my decompressing time playing video games, watching the NBA playoffs or a regular season MLB game (though I don't follow baseball too closely), and watching TV shows that I love like Game of Thrones.
In 5 years, I hope to be...
I'd like to have a full K-12 curriculum worked out that can be used by other freelance tutors and educators to help their students develop. I want to have a full educational program that gives creative liberty to educators and students alike, allowing them to mold and manipulate a skill-based curriculum around concepts they both agree on. I have worked some basic tenets of this curriculum, and hope to have it comprehensively developed within five years. I also would like my entertainment start-up to be profiting well enough to staff 5-7 people and contract other entertainment professionals at reasonable rates.
Activities & skills I love to teach & share with children...
There are times when it is important for adults to contrive situations and lessons that focus children in a formal and educational way. Having said that, my favorite way to teach children is to let them explore, play, and gravitate towards the things that naturally interest them. There are lessons in every interaction, every toy, and even every video game. Some of the most important lessons, like how to be a productive and compassionate member of the community, are things we learn mostly outside of formal, educational settings.