If you didn’t accidentally click this tab, you must want to know this information. Here goes.
My name is Cheryl Mizerny (rhymes with Ernie).
I have been an educator for over 20 years in many capacities. I began my career as a special education teacher for students with emotional and learning disabilities. After I earned my MA, I became a special education teacher consultant and worked with general education teachers to support students with different learning needs. I was able to teach in my minor areas of study–art and drama–for four years. Glorious fun! Then, NCLB passed and I was transferred back to a high-school special education position. I have also been an adjunct professor in the Educational Psychology department at my alma mater, Eastern Michigan University. (Go Eagles!). It was rewarding to be able to give back to my beloved profession by mentoring the next generation of teachers.
In 2006, my husband was offered a marketing job in the tech industry, and we decided to move to California. I determined it was the perfect time for a change from teaching special education. I found I had enough credits to be certified in English there–hence the “Accidental” in the title of my blog. Lucky for me, I landed a job teaching English in a great middle school in San Jose. I’ve worked with some insanely talented teachers in both Michigan and California. I learned a great deal from these professionals and am a better teacher and person for it.
Fast forward five years and my husband and I were missing our families back in the midwest. He was offered a job in the auto industry and we moved back to Michigan. I went back to part-time adjunct work at EMU. I hated to leave, but I found and snagged my dream job–6th grade English teacher at a middle school for girls. I had always taught in public school at the 8th grade level or higher, but the adjustment was not as difficult as I feared. I do miss having boys in my classes, but I relish the opportunity to empower young women. This is my second year there and I love my job every single day.
The focus of my Master’s degree is on understanding the individual learner as a whole person: cognitively, emotionally, and socially. My specialty is student engagement and motivation which will be the focus of this blog. A large part of my life’s work is determining the best methods to reach and teach every single one of my students to help them achieve at their fullest potential. As such, I am a voracious reader of books written by the experts in my profession and they truly are my superheroes. I also enjoy developing innovative curriculum and learning opportunities. I have recently taken to using Twitter for PD and can’t imagine going back. The support there, both professionally and personally, is second to none and the very reason I began this blog.
My sincere hope is that something you read here is of use to you in your teaching. Please feel free to share in return. I look forward to learning with you.