I have always wanted to be a teacher. From early moments of coloring in books that shouldn't have been colored in, and teaching Cabbage Patch dolls how to read, I knew that this is what I wanted to do. (I also planned on being a rock star, but that one didn't really work out.) I have an Associate of Science in Behavioral Science from Utah Valley University, a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Utah, and a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Phoenix. I have worked with children in various capacities over the past ten years. I have worked in both private preschools and the Head Start program as a teacher. Here I saw first hand how early education experiences set the stage for learning. I saw the benefits of early intervention programs. I saw how much children can learn from play. Most importantly, I saw how excited small children were about school. I also was the site coordinator for an after school program for many years. Here I gained perspective on the post-preschool experience. It was interesting to me to see that somewhere along the way, some of those children lost their educational "spark". Some children struggled in the typical classroom setting. In college, I learned about different learning styles, yet saw no evidence of these being put into practice. I saw children who were falling behind or causing disruptions in the classroom. From these experiences, I formed my educational philosophy. The most important thing being that children need to feel safe and to have their basic needs being met in order to learn. They need to know the teacher cares about them and their success. Next, they need to be introduced to new concepts in intriguing ways, so they will want to learn and expand upon them. They need to have their strengths recognized and help to build upon them. I am married to my high school sweetheart. We have three small children - ages 4, 3, and 1 - who keep us on our toes. I enjoy playing the guitar, crocheting stuffed animals, and adding items to an Amazon online shopping cart and never buying them.