About

A little about me:

First and foremost I am a husband and father.  My house is currently occupied by myself, my wife, my son (7), my daughter (3), more books than we could ever read, and more dress-up fairy dresses, and Star Wars figures or LEGOs than could ever be played with!  We live in the northern suburbs of Chicago and are, of course, Chicago Cubs fans.  While I would like to be more of a writer than I am, something about life, teaching, and other commitments always seem to get in the way.  That, and a bad case of writer’s block that’s lasted about 8 years.

A little more about me: (Just skip this if the previous paragraph was enough for you!)

I went to the University of Illinois to become a journalist.  My dream job was going to be writing sports columns for the Chicago Tribune.  While working at The Daily Illini, my dream job shifted to being a beat writer for any beat that would have me at the Tribune.  (As you can begin to see, the Tribune was going to be my “Daily Planet.”)  After a few hefty doses of disillusionment with journalism early on in my university career, I opted for the more artistic route and became an English/Rhetoric major.  I told people that, if nothing else, I could eloquently ask if someone wanted fries with their burger.

Even at this point, there was a little nagging Spidey-sense that told me I would enjoy teaching.  I even recall visiting my old high school and talking with one of my favorite teachers about what it meant to be an English teacher.  If I was hooked at this point, it was a really small lure, but it was there.  It wasn’t until 1-2 months before graduating with a bachelor’s that I finally decided I wanted to be a teacher.  After graduation, I got married, filled out my applications for the Ed.M program, and worked as a substitute teacher and bookstore employee / movie theater projectionist for a year.

Grad school was a blur, student teaching was challenging but fun… and here I am.  I have a happy family of four, I’ve been a full-time classroom teacher since 2006.  Education has been through a lot of changes even in just the 8 short years I’ve been involved in it… and so far I’m not sure those changes have been for the better.  That’s why I stay in it, though… otherwise who else is going to get this messed up system changed?

The 2014 Update: I am transitioning this year from classroom teaching into an Instructional Technology Coach position in my district. I’m looking forward to the change and the new challenges of helping teachers in my district transform their planning and teaching.

A little about where I’m from:

I was born in Dallas, Texas, and lived there for the first 11 years of my life.  From there, we ventured across the Pond to England, where we lived for 3 years.  After that, it was southwest Missouri by way of a 3-month detour in Sacramento.  Missouri was a 1-year stop, then the Chicago suburbs for 4 years.  Off to Champaign-Urbana for 7 years… which is, oddly, the longest I have ever lived in one place.  2006 saw the return to the northern suburbs of Chicago, and I think you will have to drag me out of here in a body bag before I will move again willingly.

Eine kleine nachtmusik?

Ja!

A little about my job:

The school I teach at is Hawthorn Middle School North in Vernon Hills, IL.  We are 1 of the 2 middle schools in our district, home to grades 6-8.

My first position here was 8th grade Language Arts/Social Studies.  I don’t even have time to go into just how much I miss having those two subjects integrated.  The learning that was happening seemed so much more coherent and meaningful when we were teaching those subjects together.  But I digress… My next position was 8th grade Language Arts.  In 2008, I moved to 7th grade Language Arts, where I taught a reading/writing skills class, 3 sections of Language Arts, and 1 Advanced Language Arts. In 2013, I moved back to 8th grade Language Arts. For the 2014-2015 school year, I will be the district’s Instructional Technology Coach.

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