- History; minor in English; teaching certification through the Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development
- Southeastern Michigan
- English teacher, Berkley (Mich.) High School; writer
- In a nutshell, what do you do?
- Well, during the day I work in CrazyTown, USA, also known as a public high school. I do my absolute best to help students improve their skills in reading and writing analytically. I am a cheerleader of classic literature and on some days I feel like I am a life coach to an audience of people (teenagers) who just seem to be wired to make bad, impulsive decisions. My job is really hard and really fun. Never a dull moment, that’s for sure. At night after my son goes to bed, I open my computer and write. Hopefully someday you’ll see it.
- What are you working on right now?
- Lesson plans for Heart of Darkness (don’t roll your eyes!) and a writing assignment for Fences. Also, I am working on one fiction piece and one nonfiction piece—that’s all I’ll say about that.
- Why do you love what you do?
- Because there are few, few jobs in this world where you can be 100 percent who you are. In so many jobs you have to impress a boss or sell something you don’t believe in. Teaching feels like this incredibly honest job where I am doing something absolutely meaningful on a daily basis. That is hard to find. In terms of writing, I have to do it to survive. Even if I never published anything I would do it because it helps me find my sanity, which gets lost a lot when teaching teenagers and raising a five-year-old.
- How did Albion help you get there?
- The people. It’s all about the people. I can’t say it enough. Going to a small school allowed me to meet some unbelievable people—peers, professors, coaches—people who helped shape me as a student, an athlete, and a person.
- For me, Albion ...
- ... was the absolute best decision. I earned a degree in my field, I received the training I needed, and I found my best friends. I have the career and the bridesmaid dresses to prove it.
- Anything else you'd like to add?
- Of course—Go Brits!
Take It Further: Natalie's Io Triumphe! feature (Spring-Summer 2011 issue), History, English, Education
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