As the oldest of three siblings, not attending college was never presented as an option to me; not because holding a degree was just something we did, in fact only one of my family members, my aunt, held a college degree. Rather, my parents instilled in me that pursuing higher education was going to lead to a more stable and comfortable life than they were ever able to provide me. This motivation and dedication to my studies has led me back to the University of South Florida after 11 years of teaching to obtain my Master’s in Instructional Design and Technology.
After high school graduation, it was off to Polk Community College where I earned my AA, then transferring onto the USF Lakeland campus where I worked closely with a wonderful cohort of like-minded students to earn my Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and ESOL Endorsement while working full time. It was then that my hard work and dedication to learning paid off- I got my first teaching job. I quickly learned I was NOT prepared for what laid in store for me as a new 5th grade teacher at a very low socio-economic school. I was not prepared for how hard I was willing to fight for my students to earn a fair and equal education. I was not prepared for bringing my students food as rewards because they wanted to earn them to take them home for their families. I was not prepared to attend football games, BBQs, and become a part of their family! I was not prepared for the love and tears we would share together as I became someone to trust and confide in. I was also not prepared for someone amazing to come into my life to share all these beautiful moments with me. Eleven years later, I am still working hard to help others become their best selves whether it be through friendship, as an educator, or as an instructional designer- hoping to elevate others to fulfill their own destiny’s while sharing my life with my amazing man.
Through out my career as a teacher I have had some amazing opportunities both at my school site, and within my Professional Learning Network (PLN). I have attended some of the best learning experiences at conferences such as International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Superior Tech 4 Teachers (ST4T), and Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC), while also having the privilege to present various sessions at ST4T, for Microsoft at FETC, and on the big stage at ISTE. Within my district, I have been invited to create and present content for the STEM, Technology, and Library Media Departments. Through the various professional learning facilitations, I found my passion for adult education which was supported by my studies at USF while earning my master’s degree. At my school site, I am not only a 4th and 5th grade teacher of gifted students, I am also the STEM lead teacher. With these responsibilities, I work closely with the District’s STEM Director, Larry Plank, and STEM Coordinator, Joseph Simmons in order to support our local STEM Innovation Hub schools to collaborate in order to inspire our students and teachers to innovate education to best prepare our students for life.
* You can find more information about my conference sessions on my website at AGlover4EDU.com.*
As I peer toward the future, I am unsure which direction my path will lead me, but one thing is for certain, I will never lack a passion for educating and inspiring others to be lifelong learners and work toward bettering themselves in their chosen path because situations do not define us. I take great pride in being an innovative woman in this ever-changing world in which we live and a disruptor of the system of status quo.