Science & Social Studies Teacher
A Letter to My Students About Me
Dear Students of Mine,
Welcome to your 5th grade year at E.P. Rayzor. As you already know, my name is Mrs. Williams. What you probably don't know is that I am passionate about being the best teacher possible for you. I have a feeling this will be your favorite school year so far. The purpose of this letter is to let you know a little bit about me. You might find that we have a few things in common.
I was born in Waverly, Iowa on April 26, 1969, the same day my grandpa’s chicks hatched. According to my Great Aunt Rose, it was also the day she watched a monarch butterfly emerge from its chrysalis, a phenomenon she watched through her kitchen window. I’ve always loved hearing both stories. 1969 is also the year the first humans landed on the moon. A great deal has changed since then.
When I was a 5th grader like you, only thirty-seven years ago, I lived in Iowa, a place quite different than where you live. My small yellow house was surrounded by corn and soybean fields, gravel roads, pastures with muddy winding creeks, and cows of my own. I had a dog named Sam, my dog. She happily greeted me at the bus stop every day after school. I also was fortunate enough to have my neighbor’s horses close by to admire and to occasionally ride. The summers in Iowa were warm and muggy with regular occurrences of thunderstorms, tornadoes too. My dad and I always enjoyed watching the storms roll in. This is when my interest in the weather began. Since we lived out in the country I had daily outdoor adventures with my little sister. Gathering clams from the creek, climbing trees, hunting earth worms for fishing, being chased by geese, or searching through the hay in the barn for wild kittens are just a few of our regular adventures. We also made it a hobby to find and bring home lost or injured animals. My parents did not appreciate this hobby very much. We had a trampoline in the backyard where I learned to master front flips. Back flips never worked out too well for me. I guess I needed more practice. Winters in Iowa brought on very different adventures. Snow, a lot of it, strong winds, and blistery temperatures created a winter wonderland for us. To play outside we needed to wear snowmobile suits on top of several layers of clothing. We would put plastic bread bags over two pairs of socks before we forced our feet into our snug snow boots. We did this to help keep our feet dry. We built snow forts, went sledding, and skated on the pond. My favorite winter activity was to go snowmobiling with my dad. I always rode behind him with my arms wrapped tightly around his waist so I wouldn’t fly off when he rounded the corners. It was a blast! During the winter months, we mostly stayed in the house where it was warm. My mom baked a lot of bread and cookies making our home smell like paradise. Cooped up inside wasn’t too bad. I drew a lot, made latch hook rugs, played board games (Parcheesi was my favorite), played Atari games like Pong and Space Invaders, and created forts in the living room with my sister. I also read. My favorite book was My Side of the Mountain. I also played my flute quite a bit. Back then band began in 4th grade. My best friend, Jenny, and I always competed for the first chair in the band, even in high school. I consider myself blessed to have grown up the way I did.
Iowa did not remain my home. My parents moved our family to Georgetown, Texas during my sophomore year of high school. I was not happy about this decision but it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me. Sometimes the best things in life grow out of the most difficult times. I want you to remember this. After all, if we hadn’t moved to Texas I probably wouldn’t get to be your teacher.
To become a teacher I attended The University of Texas at Austin, yes I am a Texas Longhorn. I graduated from there with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Many years later I earned my Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of North Texas in Denton. Even though I am no longer an official student I do consider myself a lifelong learner.
My husband, Kraig, and I have been married for 21 years. Both of our sons are in college. Charlie is a sophomore and Jake a freshman. I’m certain you’ll hear plenty of stories about them both throughout this school year. I’m looking forward to creating new life stories with you while we learn and grow together. Until then, just know that I love teaching and being with kids. Even though I greatly enjoyed my summer with my family, I am looking forward to beginning our school year together, knowing you, teaching you, and learning from you.
My Mission Statement for Life
I will live with an attitude of gratitude and optimism, seeking the good and the humor in all situations and in all people.
I will grow stronger with each accomplishment, and even stronger with each setback believing that everything happens for a reason, and there is no better place to be than right here, right now.
I will seek out the gifts in every moment, in the good ones and in the bad ones.
I will take care of my spirit, mind, and body.
I will seek to learn something of value from everyone.
I will seek ways for everyone around me to grow and to shine.
Random Facts about Your Teacher
~acts of kindness
~cuddling with my family
~listening to and talking with my people
~nature (rocks, sky, sunshine, fresh air, rain, gardens, soil, and anything that grows )
~paint and markers
~ greens and blues
~books that inspire me to be a better person or teach me something new
~music that inspires and makes me smile and want to dance
~movies that either make me laugh or help me better understand the world I live in
~vacationing in the mountains
~I'm the oldest of two daughters.
~I have two dogs, Schnauzers, named Winston and Ellie
~I learn best by moving, seeing, asking questions, and having quiet time to reflect.
~I read books through my ears.
~I've taught pre-K, 3rd graders, 4th graders, 5th graders, and 6th graders.