My desire to teach has always been fueled by my passion for social justice, sense of social responsibility, and tacit knowledge of and love for people. Early on, I learned how to reach students and create safe and challenging learning environments. Through thirty years of educating others and myself a pattern of constant interaction between theory and practice emerges. New knowledge has always elicited action for me; action in the classroom has always fed my desire to know more.
I received my BA in Education and my Teacher Certification twenty-six years ago. After working as an elementary and middle school teacher in Norway for six years, I enrolled in a graduate course in Curriculum and School Development. This course challenged my classroom practices and opened my eyes to previous invisible patterns of exclusion and privilege. Growing up in Norway as the daughter of Norwegian and German parents I learned early on that there is more than one way to see the world and be seen. Now I was finding tools to further this learning.
I left Norway knowing that I wanted to use my new knowledge to create and implement strategies for change in the classroom and in schools at large. I also wanted to learn more about feminist theory and inter/multi culturalism on micro and macro levels. At Goddard College, I was able to explore these issues through my M.A. studies, my teaching through eleven years, and collaboration with my colleagues engaged in critical examination of their work.
My doctorate work at the University of Vermont allowed me to explore program development, leadership studies, organizational theory, and the ins and outs of academic research, allowing me to reach a larger audience than I could through college level teaching. Most essential to me though, was my study of white lesbian parents of African and African-American adopted children in Vermont.
My own striving for critical, reflective and applicable knowledge fuels my passion for teaching. I believe that each of us has the potential for learning, is interested in learning, and I believe my task as an educator is to support or provide the students in finding the tools and the learning environment that allows them to excel as learners in the context of local and global communities.
For fun I like to be outdoors, hiking, camping, skiing, sledding, swimming, traveling, building or gardening. I am the happiest in wide-open spaces, at the coast or in the mountains. Vermont feels like home, but my connection to Norway is embedded in my bones. The intersection of language, place and self is one that always draws me in and teaches me new truths.