Since I was fifteen years old and served as a coach for my neighborhood swim team, I have been teaching others in some capacity. I went on to study education at the University of Illinois and have been a middle school teacher for sixteen years. I have taught language arts, science, and social studies to both sixth and seventh graders. I am always looking for ways to improve my teaching to better meet the needs of my students, whether that is through professional reading, engaging in conversations with my peers, listening to podcasts, or -- my favorite -- spending time on Twitter. I am committed to my own learning and growth as I model a growth mindset for my students, and I want my students to see themselves as readers and writers. I am a former collegiate swimmer and Ironman triathlete, but these days my exercising consists of chasing after my kids or running a local 5K if I'm lucky.