Tell me a little about yourself and your background.
My background is in education and I actually come from a long line of teachers but before teaching I started my career in maintenance. I worked for Shell on offshore oil in the Gulf of Mexico where I was the safety manager. After eleven years with Shell I moved to a local job with Monsanto where I was the training maintenance coordinator but while in this position I recognized my passion for teaching and finished my degree. I went on to receive my Masters in Ed Leadership and Inside Curriculum and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Instructional Technology. After receiving my Masters I went on to teach at the University of West Florida and actually began working there while finishing my dissertation. I continued teaching at UWF for 18 years before leaving and joining Dr. Pilcher and the TeacherReady program.
How do you feel that your previous experience prepared you for your role with TeacherReady?
Actually, I received a lot of leadership experience from my time with Shell and the University of West Florida. While at UWF I had the opportunity to lead the assessment program that we used for our accreditation purposes at the university. Having this experience allowed me to familiarize myself with: running statistical analysis’s on retention rates, progression and the rubrics for assessing course programs. After leaving the University and coming to TeacherReady I started working with retention rates and ran the statistics on this until Dr. Pilcher asked me to take over TeacherReady. I love to troubleshoot problems and find solutions and being a corporation you need to be able to change on the flip of a coin and that’s what I like about TeacherReady. It’s never ending and continuously changing and that’s what I love.
What about TeacherReady makes you feel like you can believe in the Program?
I believe heavily in education and I believe that we should have the best Teachers for our children, just like you want the best teacher for your own children. So, in order to produce the best Teachers we tell our students that they are a reflection of TeacherReady. We tell them that we want them to succeed and go on to be an amazing teacher because you never know if one of your own children is going to be in their classroom.
What is the most rewarding part about your role with TeacherReady?
The most rewarding part is seeing the success rate of our teachers. It’s so great to get the emails from students thanking you for helping them get through the program. I take pride in knowing that we have great employees… I took a management class at UWF in the 80’s and one of the questions the professor us asked was. “What makes a good manager?” Everyone wrote down what they thought but no one got it right, but the answer is Good Followers. Good Followers make a good manager. So without good people you can’t be a good manager and I can tell you that we have the best people here at TeacherReady.
What’s on piece of advice would you give someone deciding to join TeacherReady?
One of the things we look at when you are deciding to make a career change is pairing you with the right advisor. The first question we ask is “why do you want to become a teacher?” When I taught at UWF the first thing I would ask my students was “How many of you are here for the money?” Maybe one or two would raise their hands and I would tell them that you shouldn’t be in it for the money, you should be in it for the love of teaching. You should be in it for the love of taking that knowledge and transferring it from you to your students. For making a change in society. I firmly believe that those who want to go into teaching should be familiar with teaching and what to expect as a teacher. It’s not the money, it’s the love for the children and I think TeacherReady does a good job of conveying this to our students.