English 2, Honors English 2, CCMR
I graduated from DeSoto High School in 1984. I graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1998, and from Texas A & M-Commerce in 2006.
I have a B.A. in English, minor Secondary Education, from U.T. Arlington, and an M.Ed. in Reading from Texas A & M-Commerce. I am certified in English, Secondary English, Secondary Reading, English as a Second Language, Elementary Education, and Social Studies.
Over my more than 21-year career in education, I have received extensive training in the STAAR Reading/Writing/English End-of-Course assessments. I have also pursued training in 6-Traits Writing, and I’ve taken classes focused on working with impoverished and at-risk populations. I recently attended workshops on the revised Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and on creating communities of learners in classrooms.
This is my fifth year with Malakoff; however, I have been teaching for over two decades. I currently teach English 2, Honors English 2, and College-Career-Military-Readiness (CCMR). This is my first year teaching English 2, and I am SO EXCITED (!) to be able to work with “my babies” from last year. I am furthermore thrilled that next year, I will go back to English 1, and “loop” with those kids as well. I love my students, and being able to work with them two years at a time is very rewarding to me.
I began teaching in 1998, at the age of 32. I was a non-traditional college student; I stayed home with my daughters for ten years prior to going to college. Prior to Malakoff,( in reverse chronological order): I taught in Crandall (1 year- 7th grade), Athens (8 years- 4th & 5th grades in the Dual Language department), Mesquite (2 years- 7th grade Reading and Writing)), Kemp (1 year- 7th grade ELA), Maypearl (3 years- 6th & 7th grade Reading and Writing); DeSoto (1 year-7th grade ELA), and Red Oak (2 years-8th grade English, 8th grade Honors English; 3rd grade self-contained).
In addition to teaching, I am a professional writer. I’ve written 4 “problem novels” for teens—where the main character is dealing with a trauma or problem of some kind, and must find the strength to overcome it. My most recent young adult fiction novel, BIG FAT DISASTER (2014), is published by Simon & Schuster’s “Pulse” imprint. BIG FAT DISASTER is on the Spirit of Texas-High School Reading list for 2014-2015; this is an honor bestowed by the Texas Library Association. The book received a starred Kirkus Review, and I’m very proud of it. I am currently working on my 5th novel for teens.
My most recent book for adults was published in December, 2018. It’s called TRAUMA RECOVERY: SESSIONS WITH DR. MATT—NARRATIVES OF HOPE AND RESILIENCE FOR VICTIMS WITH PTSD. It is a creative non-fiction book for trauma survivors, co-written with a clinical psychologist.
I also have taken several classes in the realm of editorial freelancing, and I utilize what I have learned not only in my capacity as an author and freelance editor, but also in the classroom with my students.
I’m married to my high school sweetheart. We met when we were 14 and 15, in 1980, and we married in 1985. Our eldest daughter was born on our first anniversary! She is now a sociology professor at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio. My second daughter is a 6th grade reading teacher in a neighboring district, and our youngest daughter is an ICU nurse. She’s currently travel-nursing in Alaska, but will be moving back to Texas soon (YAY!)
We are an animal-loving family. My husband and I have three dogs and a cat, as well as two Nigerian dwarf goats. I live in the woods and we enjoy the wildlife surrounding our house. If you ever see a really fat raccoon, chances are, it’s been eating at my house every night.
When I’m not teaching, I’m probably writing. I also enjoy working out six days a week.
Spending time laughing with my family is probably my favorite thing in the world, and my favorite place in the world is home.