I read where Kathy Schrock and Doug Johnson recently provided a history or timeline of sorts to document their careers, so thought I’d take a moment to do mine. I am no comparison to those two who are quite accomplished educators. But it does help me when I reflect over my growth. In taking this walk down memory lane, I realize my professional growth has only just started to be independent of my husband’s career. You see he is a retired football coach, so the several moves I’ve made have been a direct result of his job changes as he moved from assistant to head football coach, and then from small schools to larger ones. Now that he is out of the coaching world, and is working as a school administrator, my work does not seem to revolve around where he is working. It is shocking to realize how big an impact it has had over the years I’ve been teaching. But now I am the driving force behind where I work and what I do. It almost feels “grown-up.” For anyone who knows me, this year I am working 170 miles away from my family, but am happier professionally than I have ever been. Some day I will share why I was so unhappy before coming to my current job, but the purpose of this post is just to walk down memory lane, and create a professional history of sorts. Specifics about this list can be gleaned for my resume, or curriculum vita here.
My professional history:
• 1986 – began teaching (5th grade) in Orangeburg County (South Carolina)
• 1988 – Enrolled in graduate school (University of South Carolina); looked into specialty areas like Guidance, Reading Specialist, Administration. None interested me so I chose a generic Master’s degree. After all, it was simply a pay raise, nothing more. I drove back and forth for every class–roughly an hours drive. During my last class, a math methods course of all courses, I realized the library was a place where I felt I could make a difference.
• 1990 – Master’s Degree in Education; plan in place to re-enroll in graduate school in five years when time for recertification – work towards library certification. (In hindsight, why did I wait so long? It could be that I had two children by now, both small.)
• 1995 – Re-enrolled in the Library & Information Science program at USC; seeking certification as a school library media specialist. I was in luck though as most othe classes were offered through distance education methods, so I only drove to Columbia for a few classes. The rest were taken using viewing sites and Blackboard.• 1997 – Certification in school library, family relocated to Aiken, SC; first job as school librarian in a middle school that did not even have a full time slms. I taught two classes of ELA (7th grade) and worked the rest of the day in the library. After one nineweeks, my principal hired a part time teacher to take over my ELA classes so I could work full time in the library. Implemented school news program, created school website from scratch, and began a quest to get innovative programs and equipment through grant writing. Was awarded teacher of the year. Also attended first SCASL and EdTech conferences, and decided I had MUCH to contribute. Since then, I have presented at either/or (and sometimes ALL 4) SCASL, SC EdTech, SCASA, and SCMSA conferences each year. My last three years I was the vice pres (1 year) and then president of the Aiken County Media Educators Association (2 years).
• 2001 – relocated for family purposes. Worked in a high school library one year. Continued successful grant writing, and presenting at state conferences
• 2002 – transferred to district closer to home—went against my heart and accepted a position in an elementary school. Continued presenting at various state conferences, but branched out to larger conferences, and presented at FETC in 2005. Attended my first NECC in 2005 as well—Philadelphia. Attended NECC in 06 San Diego and 07 Atlanta as well. Continued successful grant writing; expanded presentations by adding arts education conference to my resume. Developed skills as video editor, podcaster, & blogger. In 2004 was awarded teacher of the year; earned National Board Certificate in Early Childhood through Young Adult Library Media. Taught several teacher education professional development courses. In 2005 was invited to Nashville to give a three day workshop to LMS’s –>topic: the LMS as a Catalyst for Technology Integration. I worked as the Instructional Technology Chair for SCASL in 2005, earning me a spot on the SC Association of Educational Technology planning board for the annual conference (SC EdTech).
• Presently – Blogger, budding (once again) Podcaster; presence in Twitter (Cathyjo) and Second Life (Bentley Noel). Middle school librarian in new district. Enrolled in Educational Administration program, but interest waning once again….
As I reflect, I have to wonder where I will grow next…