Dear students and parents,
Welcome to English Language Arts at Timberline! I am so excited to learn with you this year and to get to know each of you.
I’ll begin by introducing myself. I was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona where, thankfully, I didn’t burn to death before moving to the mountains in Flagstaff, Arizona where I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education at Northern Arizona University. Then, all of my childhood dreams came true when I married Spencer Laulusa shortly after graduating. We actually met each other in preschool, and we were friends all through high school, but had to wait for each others’ cooties to go away before we could stand to get married. We moved to China to teach English for about 6 months before moving to Utah, where we absolutely love it! We feel so blessed to live in such a beautiful place.
Some random (yet somewhat important) information about me includes: I have a slight obsession with cycling; I love everything about bikes, and constantly have to remind myself that other things can be cool too. Also, I am an addict. There, I said it. I am addicted to peanut butter, and I singlehandedly consume about 5.5 pounds of it per month: a fact that I haven’t quite decided if I am proud or ashamed of yet… Other than riding my road bike and eating peanut butter straight from the jar, you can also find me trail running, reading, and enjoying good conversations with friends and strangers about food, politics, religion, gender, and hilarious recounts of my experiences teaching middle school. Lastly, I love writing, and I think it is so much fun to connect with people through blogs, letters, emails, and things like that. I believe that honesty and transparency are the only way to make sense of ourselves and others, so please feel free to ask me anything you want to; I’ll probably answer.
It’s only fair that I explain the reason I am a teacher and a few of the expectations that I will be holding you to this year. No, I am not here to teach you English; I know you already know the language. My main goal is for you become confident writers, readers, speakers, and individuals. Consequently, much of our time together will be spent working on learning and refining skills that will help us effectively communicate with the people around us, because that’s what life is all about! I truly believe that everything we do in this class will help enrich your life in some way–whether it is being able to explain your ideas in an effective way, appreciate and talk about beautiful pieces of writing, or having enough bravery to try something unfamiliar and uncomfortable.
As I do my best to help each of you reach their potential as a communicator, I ask that you do a few things for me. First, you have to be here in class. Not just physically (I know you can sleep anywhere), but I need you with us: focused and prepared. Next, I know that some of the things that I’m going to ask you to do are challenging; I do not expect perfection, but I need your best effort every day: stay positive and optimistic about assignments (and life, if you can), ask for help, and take some risks. Finally, trust me and the process that we are going to go through to get better–even if some of the tasks or assignments seem silly at first. We are building a huge building with hundreds of tiny little bricks. We won’t see the big picture all at once, but over the course of time, it’s gonna be pretty cool.
Here’s to a great school year together.