My name is Laura Allen, and I want to welcome you to today.

My first gift from a student was a mug covered in cats. They know me so well!

Today, for whatever reason, you’ve found yourself here reading about me, so grab a cup of coffee (you know I have mine) and let me introduce myself.

I’m writing to you from home, which for me is Michigan. I grew up attending a small school in Plymouth, always busy and happy in my community. As a 17 year old senior walking across our tiny graduation stage, I had chosen to attend Michigan State University to study psychology. Everyone told me this plan was a smart one, but for some reason, it didn’t feel right to me.

Fast forward to the fall, and instead of being at Michigan State, I was in New Zealand and Indonesia, doing service work alongside local organizations. It was there that I was inspired to become a teacher. I found a plan for my life that finally felt right: I wanted to make this world better by the time I left it, just like the people I met overseas, by dedicating my life to being there for kids.

From the other side of the world, the dream of teaching called me home, so back to Michigan I went.

I attended Michigan State University’s College of Education, a program I loved from day one. I completed my postgraduate internship at Haslett High School, and because I’m somehow the luckiest person in the world, I was offered a job teaching English and French at our very own Haslett Middle School.

Surprise notes from students

That’s where I am today: home. Home means where I live with my husband and our three cats, where I love on crazy middle schoolers, and where I learn alongside some of the greatest teachers I know.

Now, I’m furthering my education at MSU studying Educational Technology, learning how to become a more purposeful teacher in our increasingly global and digital world. In turn, I will take what I learn to my students, the leaders of tomorrow.

Because at the end of the day, my students are not only the reason I teach, but they’re also the reason I learn. I continue to think, question, and wonder, so that I am the lifelong learner we want our students to become.

So if you really want to know about me, you should know who I am with my students. The best way for me to show you this isn’t by talking more¬†about them. Instead, I invite you to listen to a message I wrote¬†to them:

That’s who I am: a teacher who loves her students and who believes every day is full of wondrous possibilities.

I believe the same for you too.

Everyone, welcome to today. I’m so glad you’re here.

All images on this page taken by Laura Allen.