A student first, school improving, technology integrating, rigorous curriculum designing, RTI & change implementing (CBAM), ICLE, life long learner and leader.
I was in sixth grade when the art teacher (Ms. Marie Ifolio) at my school (I had known her since fourth grade) had made special arrangements with my teacher and the Principal. She had worked it out so that I could be her “teacher’s assistant” when she taught art to the kindergarten classes. I loved it! I can still remember the day, when we were walking from my class to the other end of the school, towards the kind. classroom. As we were turning the corner by library, she told me, “Mike, one day you’re going to make a great teacher.”
Now I was not a big fan of school. It wasn’t my favorite place. I was relatively successful, but still not my thing. So the last thing I wanted to be was a teacher! Well I helped her with other classes and summer schools until I went into High School. She was truly a huge influence on my life. I still tie-dye today because of her as well!
Until my sophomore year of high school, I really hadn’t given much more thought to being teacher. That is until I met my honors geometry teacher. I won’t mention his name, but the turning point was one day when I did very poorly on a test. I went to him after school to ask for help. His response, “Well it’s a little late now isn’t it?”
I couldn’t believe he said that. I thought I knew the material, but obviously I didn’t know as well as I should and need his help. This was in the early 1980’s before Google, lol. It was that day that I decided to become a teacher to counter act this poor teacher. I would at least be able to cancel his negativity.
Fast forward today, almost 30 years later!
I was in k-12 public education for 20 years when I finally realized that my family and my health were suffering from trying to change the system. I’ve seen so many children not get the help, support, care, or compassion that they deserve simply because “that’s the way we’ve always done it”. I have almost 10 years of experience in higher education and online education for adults and have never left my love for K-12 education and am ready to challenge the system and support the teachers and students so that we can make a difference!
My loving wife, Sarah, and daughters (Emily, Amy, and Grace) continue to be the loves of my life. We live in Wisconsin with our three dogs and two cats. Yes, it’s quite a houseful!