Who am I? Here is what has been said about me:
“…I wanted to add a comment about Hillary from the socio-emotional side: she is one of the most caring, devoted, supportive teachers I’ve come across. There is real joy in her when she is with her students. So I end where I began with this evaluation – with Hillary’s question, ‘Are the students engaged?’. When you combine all the exciting things that students are doing in her class with a teacher with real heart, I answer, ‘How can the students not be engaged?!’.”
-Tim Kaiser, Assistant Principal at the Canadian International School of Hong Kong
And here’s a short biography:
I am an adventurous, spontaneous, interesting, creative, and genuine individual with a great sense of humor. These personality traits, coupled with my love for teaching and learning, make me an ideal teacher of the lively and wonderfully awkward middle school age group. I have been teaching for fifteen years in a variety of positions across all grade levels, but middle school is my true calling. It takes a special personality to relate to this age group, and I have it!
I earned a degree in Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and I started teaching shortly after that, while concurrently working on my Master’s degree in Education. As a substitute teacher I was able to work with students from Kindergarten though twelfth grade, visit a myriad of classrooms, and observe different teaching styles and techniques.
My experience in working with adolescents has taught me that by being personable and approachable to my students I develop meaningful relationships with them. This involves sharing parts of my personal life and allowing them to see that I do not always have all the answers. By actively engaging in inquiry with my students I demonstrate that I enjoy learning beside them, hopefully inspiring them to be life-long learners as well.
My many interests help me to be a well-balanced individual. I make a conscious effort to continually develop my physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual life. I am an avid traveler. In 2006 I took a leave of absence from work to fulfill one of my life long dreams: traveling around the world. On that solo trip, I visited 16 countries on five continents. In total, I have traveled in nearly 50 countries and I have lived in five including Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, Portugal and the United States.
Another passion of mine is cycling. I was a racer for over ten years, competing as a semi-professional around the United States and in parts of Europe. Although I am currently not actively racing, I still enjoy cycling daily. Developing the spiritual side of my life through yoga and meditation is also one of my top priorities, and helps me to stay balanced while in new and unfamiliar situations. Other hobbies I enjoy include kite boarding, knitting, reading, writing, photography, gardening and enjoying the outdoors.
Although I welcomed and appreciated the challenges that living in a foreign culture provided, after eight years abroad I missed being closer to home. I am currently taking a year off to spend time with friends and family and I look forward to bringing my experience, skills, enthusiasm, and love for teaching and learning to my next teaching position in the 2015-2016 school year.
Since you’ve made it this far, you might be interested in seeing the video I made for the ADE application (April 2011):