Valerie received her BA from Simon’s Rock and is a second grade English Language Arts teacher in Pinole, California where she has taught for over 25 years and lives with her dog, Aziraphale.
A process of discovering who I was and who I could become.
My students are my biggest teachers. I learn from them every single day. Today, I learned about a llamacorn as my student read from a book called The Llamacorn is Kind.
I remember the first day I heard of Simon’s Rock. This envelope came in the mail and I opened it up and the pamphlet said, “Why wait to go to college?” I had no idea it was a possibility to go to college early. I thought, “I could get out of here and go somewhere really cool.”
The most important books for kids to read are the ones that spark their interest. I don’t assign reading to kids. For me, the books I dislike are the ones I was made to read. I hate Charles Dickens because I was forced to read Great Expectations in seventh grade. So, I have never read any other Dickens. I don’t want to do that to kids. I will read books to them that I love because my love will come through in that reading. When they read, I want them to read books they love. This is what makes kids want to read.
Simon’s Rock is such an amazing and special place, and it could not have the diversity that’s crucial to it being such a special place if there weren't scholarships available for students who otherwise couldn’t afford to attend.