Greetings and welcome to Mrs. Ward's English class.
2019-2020 marks my 18th year in education and my 17th year here at LHS. I am originally from a small town in north Alabama where we didn't have much to do but to "cruise" the main strip in town. I may or may not have played Chinese red light and CB radio hide and seek, or did a little mud boggin' (as we called it). I went to a school where it was much like Cheers--everybody knew your name....and your momma and them. I learned hard work at an early age. My daddy was a pig farmer and he often explained that hard work may not smell very sweet, but the hard-earned money did. My momma taught me grace and compassion and both of my parents taught me humility and strength of character. I started my education in my hometown and then moved to another small town to obtain my Bachelor's in English Secondary Education at Athens State University. Once I finished, I wasn't quite ready to move away from my parents. I worked at a private Christian school for a year--there I learned that I was in the right field, just not the right place. I sought a job in a faraway land...Georgia. To me, this was BIG. I was about to truly embark on a journey that would take me around the world and finally find love. I moved to LaGrange, Georgia (a place I had never heard of before) and started my teaching career. I remember being a bit overwhelmed. Remember, I am from a small town which means an equally small school. LHS had over 1000 more students in its 9-12 grades than my high school had in its 7-12 grades! I learned that I actually would love the school and its awesome diversity despite its overwhelming size. After working a few years, I decided to go back to school. (You know teachers are called "life-long learners". I didn't understand that until I became a student again...and again.) I completed my Master's degree in English Education at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton. Here, I became a REAL student. Seriously...I learned more than I had before and I was a sponge. I loved my experience there and especially loved the professors. One in particular, Dr. Erben, motivated me to apply for an adjunct position at LaGrange College. I worked as an adjunct instructor at LaGrange College for six years. This experience pushed me to continue my education in hopes of becoming a college professor one day. Interestingly, LaGrange College offered a new Specialist degree. I decided since I am a life-long learner, why not? I was part of the first cohort to obtain a Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction from LaGrange College. This degree took me on a short study abroad to Grantham, England--again, this experience was life-changing. I observed schools and students and learned we are truly the same. Teachers loved their students and wanted the best for them....oh, and that we all look forward to the weekend and summer vacations.
Well, this is my experience so far and I'm excited to reach this place in your education with you. I hope it's one of your best years, and I hope it's one of mine as well.
Here are some personal tidbits. I look forward to learning more about you as well.
I married my husband John a few short years ago. We lived about 15 minutes apart for over 12 years and just found each other! Thanks to some family connections ;) I absolutely love to travel. I have been blessed to have been able to travel many places. I have too many favorites to really share, but I've been to Edinburgh, Scotland 3 times if that gives you an idea. My husband and I went to Australia for our honeymoon...it's HIGH on the list. I cried when I saw the Mona Lisa, Stonehenge, and the Colosseum. By the way, I cry or get "teary-eyed"... a lot. I am just simply moved by beauty, compassion, shows of generosity or help for others, or sadly, injustice or others' pain. Commercials about the hurt or suffering send me over the edge. Other than crying, I LOVE to laugh. I like to tell stories and jokes and I love to hear them. I get my humor from my parents (with whom I am completely obsessed....I love my parents and will talk about them incessantly.) I love my family and friends and will talk about them, too. Now that I'm married, guess what, I will talk about my husband and how we are a match made in Heaven. My faith is important to me and depend on it more than anything! I love music and listen to a variety of genres. I'm a 80s-90s kid, so I absolutely love 80s rap and 90s rock/grunge...I am a sucker for rock power ballads. I love movies and like music, I like a wide variety of movie genres. I have far too many to name, but my top five are Life is Beautiful, Shawshank Redemption, The Goonies, The NeverEnding Story, It's a Wonderful Life and an honorable mention: Tommy Boy. Lastly, I have 2 fur babies, Rylee my dog and Cookie my cat. I'll show you pictures later. They are like children to me, so I will be talking about them...a lot. My dog Rosie was my ride or die bff for 18 years. RIP Rosie. Rylee is about 5 years old (we really don't know) and Cookie is 8 and has attitude for days; she is still a sweetie, though. I hope to have human babies in the future; my crazy must live on.
Some final thoughts and quotes:
We must live each day to its fullest...smile more, laugh more, and love more.
I am inspired daily by others. Be an inspiration!
Sometimes we just need to relax and not take life too seriously.
"When you know better, you do better." - Maya Angelou
"Be the change you wish to see in the world." -Mahatma Gandhi
"Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world." -Malala Yousafzai
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.” -Bernard M. Baruch
“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” -Marcus Tullius Cicero
“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.” -Mark Twain
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller
"Get busy living or get busy dying." -Andy Dufresne
"There's no crying in baseball." -Jimmy Dugan
"Nobody puts baby in the corner." -Johnny Castle
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” -Douglas Adams
"You're killin' me, Smalls." -Ham
"Goonies never say die." -Mikey
"It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves" -William Shakespeare
(I'll be adding more to this list. ) What's your favorite quote? Let me know!