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Do you have a life mantra/motto that you live by?
Life is short, buy the shoes and everything in between.
What does it mean to live a meaningful life?
I try to live my life with a purpose. I try to make an impact in someone’s life daily. Whether it’s a student, coworker or follower, I try to make a difference in this world on a daily basis.
What quality are you working on yourself right now?
Right now I am working on my health. I was diagnosed with kidney cancer in June and had a partial nephrectomy in July. Cancer is scary. I am leading a much healthier lifestyle since. Life is short and I want to be around for a long time.
What was your "once in a lifetime experience"?
My husband and I texted each other at work when the Cubs were in the World Series at the same exact time. We both said let’s drive to Cleveland and the rest is literally history. The experience of being there at game seven when the Cubs won, was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity that we will never forget.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
I used to be an advertising executive for the Chicago Tribune and it was a fantastic job but I wasn’t completely satisfied. While I was living downtown in Lincoln Park I started going to school at night and then eventually quit my job to attend school full time. I didn’t become a teacher until I was 30. When I was little I used to play school all the time and adored all my teachers. I wanted to be just like them. I had to put the money part aside and focus on my happiness.
What is the biggest misconception of being a teacher?
That our job ends at 3. I wish. I give myself a 30 minute break when I get home to clean the house. After that I am working on school work the rest of the night and all day Sunday. Things change so much from year to year that it’s important to keep up with educational trends. Teaching is hard and very demanding.
Tell us about your Reward Coupons Program?
Kids have changed throughout the years. I had an extremely rough class in 2011. I was crying almost every day because they were out of control. I decided to come up with a program to use with my warm fuzzies. I used to let my students pick from a treasure box when they received warm fuzzies. They didn’t really care about those junky toys anymore. So I sat down with my class to discuss what I needed them to do. We came up with a list of coupons they wanted and I created them over the weekend. As they would think of more, I added them to the set. We now have over 120 different Reward Coupons to choose from. This program has been an absolute life changer for me. If I didn’t change something, I would’ve quit that year. The Reward Coupons are a positive way to recognize the good things I see. It tends to be a chain reaction. Once the other students see how many coupons my well-behaved students are receiving, a light bulb typically goes off and they all start earning them instead of getting them taken away.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I get inspired by all the Instagram teachers I follow especially the honest ones that keep it real.
What is your most used app?
Instagram for sure.
How would you describe your personal style?
I try to stay on trend. I try to give my followers #ootd ideas for people my size in my age group. I push the fashion boundaries for my age for sure but I am always on trend. I learned my love of fashion and style from my mom.
What song would describe your life right now?
Not sure about this one.
Favorite go-to keto meal?
Steak Queso Fundido
What product would you seriously stockpile if you found out they weren’t going to sell it anymore?
Alley Muse pens and all the Adidas shoes!
Push, Pull or Let go?
Let goWhat advice would you give to someone trying to find creativity in their lives?
Follow your favorite people on Instagram and find what your interests are, then go from there. I like to keep a journal by my bed. When I get an idea, I keep a never ending to do list.