I hail from the Big Thicket, the deep Piney Woods of East Texas. I grew up in a ‘single stoplight’ town of 400 people. In high school, I played all the sports, and excelled at none of them. After a stint in Austin, Texas for college, my wife and I made our way out to Davis, CA for her to complete her PhD and for me to complete my masters in Creative Writing. After finishing, she took a tenure-track position at Chico State. And I finally started procuring my teaching credential. The moment I realized that I wanted to be a teacher happened in my mid-20s. I was a corporate trainer and taught students in a very traditional way by standing in front of them and talking at them. My boss gave me the most important feedback I have ever received. “Joseph,” she said, “teaching is facilitation of learning and engaging students where they are, and not where you want them to be.” This piece of feedback changed my whole approach to teaching as I realized that education is ultimately a partnership between you and the students. I stopped teaching and began facilitating. I kept facilitating in the intervening years between then and now. I taught students at University of California, Davis in creative writing seminars and as a bartender by teaching bar patrons in “Beer Education Classes.” However, it was not until my partner finished her PhD program and landed a tenure track job at Chico State that I felt ready to begin a career as an educator by entering the credential program. As I approach the cusp of middle-age, I’m excited for the future and learning to love Chico. In my free time, I take the dog (a crazy Blue Heeler named Lilah) to Upper Park, ride my road bike in the foothills and work in my budding garden. Inspire feels like my natural home and is the type of school I wish I had in that small East Texas town where I grew up.