I grew up surrounded by books, thanks to my English teacher mother and a father who is an avid reader. English was always my favorite class in school and when the time came to apply for college, English was an obvious choice for a major. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew that reading and writing, and probably teaching, would somehow be involved.
While I loved my undergraduate English courses — from literary theory to folklore to poetry — I became particularly interested in film theory, which was included in the English department curriculum. As with literature, I enjoyed studying film through an ideological or cultural theory lens and wanted to explore this field even further.
The end of my undergraduate education coincided with the 2007-2008 financial crisis, so it made sense to wait out the dismal job market and continue with school. I immediately enrolled in a master’s degree program in film and media studies with the intention of going on to pursue a PhD in film studies. I spent three years watching and writing about movies and television series and thoroughly enjoyed doing it. However, about halfway through the program I had a few realizations that changed my course.
The first realization was that I had very little interest in publishing or pursuing an academic career but a lot of interest in teaching. The second was an increasing awareness of the lack of teaching jobs for film professors. The third was a fear that even if I did land a teaching job, I would have no idea how to teach. The fourth realization was that I missed reading and discussing literature. The last realization came when I was invited to do a series of presentations on cultural literacy at University of Detroit Jesuit High School. While there, I fell in love with being in front of a classroom. It was so exciting to teach the students something brand new to them and to see their minds opening up to different ideas and ways of looking at the world.
At this point, the pieces came together and it became clear to me that secondary education would allow me to pursue all of my passions. I finished my master’s degree in film and media studies and immediately began the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at Wayne State. While my path to education has been a long one, I believe that each step of the way has better prepared me for the teaching profession.
In addition to my educational preparation, I also worked for six years at the Wayne State University College of Engineering in the Office of Marketing and Communications. I began as a student assistant and helped create a position for myself as marketing and communications coordinator, working directly under the director of marketing and communications. In this role, I wrote everything from Facebook statuses to press releases to the Dean’s speeches to an 80-page alumni magazine. It was an incredible experience to not only hone my writing and communication skills, but to gain professional experience.
Through my own academic studies I have discovered a true passion for knowledge and learning and I enjoy sharing this passion with my students every day.