Rebekah Wood, 2009, Baltimore, MD
What are you up to? Currently, I am enjoying my summer off while nannying 2 kids - ages 7 and 10! How do I have my summer off? Well, between August and June, I am a 4th grade Math teacher in Baltimore City and recently finished my 3rd year teaching. Teaching is a demanding job that I enjoy and take very seriously. During the school year, you can find me lesson-planning for hours on any given Sunday.
I live in Canton, Baltimore with two roommates and I am lucky enough to have my sister a couple blocks away! Who knew she'd become a teacher too and move to Baltimore! I am involved in the Baltimore Sport and Social Club (BSSC) club during the year playing volleyball, football, and softball. Most recently, I started working for the BSSC as a staff leader for softball. The BSSC has been a great way to socialize with friends and meet new people while doing something fun! There's also a first-ever boy in the picture. :-O We've been dating for a little over a year and he is from Maryland originally. That has been a whole new learning experience. Besides that most weekends I am either hanging out with friends, exploring Baltimore, spending time with Justin, or doing adult stuff (bleh.)
"I was not the best high school student. I skipped class often, had a few Saturday detentions, and was your average B/C student."
How'd you get here? I paved my way through high school by having a great personality, tons of friends, involvement in school things, and being the little sister to a straight-A student. I always knew I could do better.
During my senior year, our school motto was "Achieve Your Potential" (thank you Mr. Geary and Mr. Balanda). I guess it kinda-sorta sunk in, because I started doing just that. I became really motivated to go to college and move away from Watertown. Mrs. Veatch, my guidance counselor, recommended I check out Towson University in Maryland because she thought it would be a good fit for me and, boy, was she right! I visited Towson 3 times before I went. I couldn't get enough of it! It was so new and exciting!
After graduating high school at the ripe age of 18, my dad and I road-tripped down to Towson (for the second time) to move in. The only people I knew there were those random people you meet on Facebook. I totally lost my "Watertown security blanket", ya know? The one where anywhere you go, you'll see someone you know or someone to help you out? That was gone, but I didn't let it hinder me and I totally embraced my new surroundings.
During my 4 years at Towson, I kept myself very busy with school, work, friends, and of course partying. School was HARD ... at first! Out of the 5 courses I took my first semester, I only made it out by passing 3 of them. This made for a lot of catch up work in my years to come, which motivated me to stay focused and on top of my school work because I didn't have the time or money to be a 5th year senior. I always had a job, whether is was working at the desk in one of the dorms or babysitting on the weekends for my personal spending fund. I was not privileged with an allowance from my parents and if I was going to make work at Towson, I had to make money.
By my junior year, I continued to work, joined a sorority, and moved off campus. It was then that I realized I wanted to make Maryland home. In order to do that, I'd have to get a teaching job after college. Over the next two years, I had 4 different teaching internships. Because I already knew what I wanted, I treated each one as if it was a job interview for a future position. To my surprise - it worked - and I was SHOCKED! Here I was, the former B/C high school student ... never first for anything and I NAILED a job first in my cohort of teachers eventually becoming an example for them! Not only that, but I was hired in March before I even graduated in May! I was set. It was then that I knew my hard work paid off by reaching my end goal of a job in Maryland and I realized that I CAN achieve my potential!
I can't believe that was 8 years ago, and I have just finished up my 3rd year teaching. I have established a GREAT support system in Maryland and am looking forward to was the future holds! :)
What are your goals? It was difficult to remember to set new goals after graduating. I had a "I MADE IT" feeling and had to motivate myself again. Now that I have, I have made many goals and am always trying to better myself.
- Better myself physically and mentally. There is always room for improvements in yourself to make a better you.
- Finding a new school / position. This year was tough. I was surplus (budget cut at my school, so I had to find a new job and transfer) in October. It was the toughest thing ever to start the school year again in November. I persevered and will teach for one more year at my current school until looking for another school that is a better fit.
- Continuing my education. I am currently working on my Masters in Instructional Technology at Towson. I have a love for technology and use it constantly in the classroom. I am always finding new ways to engage and motivate my students through technology.
- Thinking WAY into the future ... I would like to take my Masters and teach new teachers how to use technology effectively in the classroom at a college level.
Advice for WHS Students?
- Achieve your potential and don't let anyone/anything hold you back! My family wanted me to go to a state school and become a teacher in CT. I am where I am today because I told them "no".
- Ask questions, plan ahead and assume nothing. Have a tentative five-year plan but be ready for possible adjustments. You never know what can happen.
- People don't get lucky in life. They work hard to get what they want. Hard work does pay off.
- Lastly, Watertown will be there forever. It'll become a great place to visit and catch up with old friends. Expand your horizons, there might be another life out there for you!
What are the ingredients for a perfect day? The sun, good music, good beer, and good company for lots of laughter :)