Natalie Taylor

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