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or basically my life story.
When I was 16, I was living in a poor little town in western New York. I knew I wanted a life different than my parents. I didn't want to worry about money or stress about when the heat would be turned back on. The only adults in my life with secure jobs were teachers. And, so, I became a teacher. I graduated a year early from high school, picked the most affordable college I could find, and I ran away...I ran towards something better.
I grew up in rural poverty.
And, I'm a better person because of it.
As a 17 year old, I escaped my rural town in western New York by working hard, being resourceful, and solving my own problems. I didn't have anyone to assist me with financial aid, applying for college, renting an apartment, or buying an airplane ticket. I had to figure those things out myself.
I learned how to research, make hard decisions within given constraints and resources, and developed a growth mindset. I had to make calculated, data-based decisions in order to be successful.
With $200 in my pocket and a 5 year plan, I boarded a plane.
I taught high school English in a Title 1 school.
And, I learned what career I actually wanted.
After graduating with my Bachelors in English Teaching, I started teaching. During my second year of teaching, I was awarded the English Teacher of the Year award for the State of Utah. I was a really good teacher.
But, I realized I liked creating instruction a lot more than I liked delivering it to teenagers. I know how to take difficult concepts and make them understandable. I delivered trainings at school, department, district, and state-wide conferences. I created unit plans that were used by teachers across the state. Working with 240+ students a year taught me how to prioritize tasks and produce results within constraints. I did a certification in Educational Technology, and started my Master's degree in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences.
Being a teacher made me an expert at meeting deadlines, communicating content, and identifying misconceptions.
"Pose with me, Huber. We're OG."
A silly picture of me with one of my favorite students. Kids like him made teaching rewarding. (Used with permission).
I quit my (very stable) teaching job during a pandemic.
And, I found jobs that utilized my growing skillset.
After a summer of contract work, I decided to quit my teaching job. I was fortunate enough to have several contracts while I looked for a full-time position.
In October of 2020, I started working full-time for a company that creates E-Learning for emergency dispatchers. In May of 2021, I graduated with my Master's degree in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences.
In October of 2021, I moved to Columbus, Ohio. Unfortunately, the company I was working for in Utah was unable to employ a remote worker.
I've started to complete more contract work, but I miss working in a team and collaborating with coworkers. I'm looking for a team environment again.
In April of 2020, I started doing contract Instructional Design work and seeking opportunities to grow my skills. My master's degree from Utah State University taught me a lot, but I desired more practice. I spent months networking with global learning and development professionals, attending webinars, taking on contract work, and upskilling. I knew I wanted out of teaching, and I was going to make it happen!
I'm a determined life-long learner.
I value kind and assertive communication.
I think my determination and love of learning comes from growing up in poverty. I had to learn so much on my own in order to be successful. I had to work hard and be independent more than most. Learning and improving was an escape and a pathway to fulfill my goals.
I continued learning as a teacher, as a grad student, as an instructional designer, and as a person. I seek feedback early and often and do my best to communicate with assertiveness and kindness.
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