Hello! My name is Elizabeth Goodwin and I’m so excited that you’ve stumbled across my little slice of the Internet. I wanted to take a moment to explain how I chose education and what my path has been.
I come from a family of educators. My mother is an elementary educator (and the very best I know!), and both of my paternal grandparents were long-time world language educators. I grew up around everyone “talking shop” and education was always a highly valued experience in my home. It also helped that I had great teachers at school, and one French teacher specifically who wouldn’t let me quit on myself. I guess that paid off!
I went to Trinity College where I received my undergraduate degree in French Language and Literature, and Italian Studies. I then completed my graduate degree at New York University in the Foreign Language Teaching of French and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. My four total student teaching placements in Paris and NYC prepared me as well as they could for my start in urban education.
My first two years I taught French and ESL at a high school in the Bronx. I will say that the only three reasons I did not leave education during these two years are because of 1) my parents, 2) my husband (then boyfriend) and 3) my AMAZING, hands down BEST MENTOR EVER, Jamie! Relationships are what keep teachers afloat, and I have had amazing people on my lifeboat! 🙂
After two years, I knew I needed to find something different. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it then, but I wasn’t happy. I moved on to a French middle school position, and from month one, I knew it was the right fit! In my happy world, #MiddleSchoolersAreTheBestSchoolers! Don’t get me wrong, now that I have much more experience I think I would enjoy high school and teaching the upper level classes, but there is something about the exuberance and general uninhibited nature of middle school kiddos that just make my heart happy every single day.
I am “that teacher”. The nerdy one. I always say hello in the hallway to everyone (my kids or not), I always smile (happy or not), I always do my best to start with kindness, and I love being a happy educator! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE where I work! (Did I say LOVE?) But there are many around me who are not happy, who are dissatisfied, who do not like working with our population, and who make being the happy teacher feel like being the social outcast sitting alone in the cafeteria.
I let this get to me a year ago. I let these thoughts get into my head and I allowed their misery to steal my happiness and I questioned my passion and pursuit for greatness. I looked into other career fields, I looked into other positions within the world of education, and I even started to work part-time for an education attorney over the summer as I prepared to study for the LSATs! And I am SO happy that I did. Let me tell you, it reinforced 1,000% how happy I really am as an educator!
Perfecting Pedagogy is a result of my decision to never let an episode like that happen to me again. I will be the nerdy, happy-go-lucky, smiling, exuberant, bubbly, impassioned teacher for my amazing kids. I will do so despite what everyone else around me is doing. This is my journey into longterm happy teaching by being #onepercentbetter everyday, and I’m glad you’re along for the ride!
Yours in Education,