Who is Laurie?
In one sentence, I am someone who wants children to have educational opportunities in elementary and secondary levels that I did not have.
I am from a small town in Northern Michigan. I remember telling my parents in middle school that I would not be going to college. I knew I had four more years of school in high school coming and I didn’t think I could take any more than that – I was done “playing school.” Luckily, I changed my mind during my junior year of high school.
During this time, I decided that I had two goals in life. I wanted to (1) teach in Mexico, and (2) publish a book. After graduating from college with a double major in Chemistry and Spanish (minor in education), I taught elementary and secondary science in Mexico (✔goal one) and Brazil, respectively, before returning to the US to teach middle school science in Houston, Texas. In 2004, I submitted a prospectus to Prufrock Press for my menu books (✔goal two). With my high school goals achieved in 2006, I have worked on others – continuing my education and traveling for new adventures.
I have since earned a Masters (M.Ed.) in Adult Education and a Doctorate (Ed.D.) in Curriculum and Instruction (✔education goal). Stan, my husband, and I try to travel every other year and we look for unique experiences around the world. Our adventures include: Stan training at a certified gladiator school in Rome (I was supportive and took photos!); hiking across the lava field on the Big Island at night and roasting marshmallows on open lava; and spending a night under the stars in the White Desert in Egypt. In addition, my best friend (met in 9th grade) and I take yearly geocaching trips – life is always an adventure! Luckily my final goal is one that can only show progress – no completion check mark!
My Professional Development
I am a picky in-service attendee. If the presenter does not have me actively involved, participating and using information being presented, I have known to find something else to do. The in-services I present are designed so that I would find them useful. Presenters often speak about good teaching techniques and what learners need, but then do not present their information that way. Many times participants leave in-services commenting “I wish they would practice what they preach.” – I do.
- Information-packed practical training.
- Brainstorming, idea sharing, and collaboration
- Content-based learning experiences with live project work and examples.
- Audience participation (even in a larger group of over 100, this is still possible)
- Presenting information through effective strategies. I model what I present!