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Teacher Aaron

Co-Lead Oak Teacher

Growing up in the midwest, I thought I would only see mountains in books. College gave me hope I would be able to see them in person.

After getting my Bachelors of Science in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin - Stout, I headed straight west. I started working for a daycare as a Kindergarten teacher and preschool manager. I was in charge of scheduling, curriculum, ordering of materials, and parent communication. It was a very exciting time, growing with the community of the school, getting to know the needs of the kiddos and finding out what worked best for us all.

When I completed my first year as a teacher, I applied to join the Americorps VISTA program, becoming a VISTA leader. As a member, I was able to work setting up the S.M.A.R.T. program in many schools across the Portland area. Our job was to create a program that fostered a love of reading, helped teachers have smaller class sizes, gave free books to the kids and their families, and most importantly, we brought the community BACK into the schools. Our volunteers came into the schools and created a safe relationship with our kiddos by reading books to them for 30 minutes twice a week. It was amazing to see what that safe bond can do for kids. Our volunteers also got to see the state of the public schools and tended to become more involved, realizing the needs for improvements. It was one of the most rewarding jobs I have had.

After that venture, I had the opportunity to be a teacher for several school districts. I finally landed in Hillsboro, Oregon as a High School Art Teacher. Talk about FUN!!! The students asked me one day, "Why are you so happy?" I answered, "I make art with kids for a living, how could I not be happy?" My goal was to show high school students that art is a way through this maze of life.

In 2005, I was blessed with my first son. After holding him, there was no way I could go back to work, and luckily I was in a situation to be able to stay home. In 2007, I was blessed again with my youngest. Being a stay at home mom was a DREAM. I spent the next 12 years raising them, enjoying the challenges that parenting provided. The Treehouse exemplifies the kind of parenting I was able to expose my kiddos to. We had a casual nature-based curriculum and I used my attachment parenting style to teach it. We also avoided media (TV, computer, phone) until each of my kiddos turned 5. I credit their great imaginations to no outside influence at a young age. As they aged, we increased their exposure until they were able to manage it themselves.

Once both of my boys entered school, I was ready to re-enter the workforce. I started back by caregiving for the elderly, which allowed me to still have a flexible schedule and be there for my kiddos. After a few years doing that, I went back to public school teaching at Oregon City School District. This led me to holding several long term positions in Elementary and Middle School, specializing in children with special needs. I was employed by them until March 2022.

My next endeavor was starting my website and blog about art. I am a practicing artist, working in watercolor, oils, mixed media, and just about anything I can get my hands on. Now that I have successfully started, I am looking forward to getting to know your kiddos, you, and your family.

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