Write from the Heart has an amazing staff of coaches who work with the students. All the coaches are degreed professionals passionate about working with homeschoolers. Every coach does a lot more at Write from the Heart than grade papers, too—they’re available daily to help students, discuss homework, facilitate literature discussions, and encourage each student individually through the writing process. Write from the Heart is an interactive class, and a big part of that is the wonderful coaches. In this series, we hope that you can get to know our staff even better.
Mrs. Constantino has such a passion for teaching and writing, which makes her a wonderful coach! She started volunteering in classrooms when she was in high school and never lost her passion for it. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Austin Peay State University, and she worked in just about every kind of classroom out there, from special education to gifted programs, and from preschool kiddos to college students. However, her real passion is helping students gain mastery of the written word. Currently, she teaches the Poetry and Short Story workshops during our Summer Institute, as well as Intermediate Composition in our year-round program.
Right now, Mrs. Constantino lives in North Carolina with her husband, who is currently an active duty soldier, and her two children.
What might your students be interested to know about you?
I’m a nerd. That is, I was in the marching band and orchestra all through high school and even for most of my college years. And, I’m obsessed with nerdy stuff like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars. I can’t help it. I just love that stuff, and I’m not afraid to show it!
I’m also originally a California girl. Like, from the valley. If you hear me talk, you’d totally be able to call me out on it. I’m so full of “like” and “totally” and “sweet” and “awesome,” they’re practically coming out of my pores. I like to think that it makes my teaching style more effective; I always try to focus on the positive and things that I can compliment before moving on to constructive criticism.
What drew you to Write from the Heart?
Honestly, it kind of feels like fate. I was searching for a work-from-home teaching position, and I found a link to the site on a “10 Best Online Writing Programs” article. From there, I emailed Ms. Rice, not knowing who she was, and she just happened to have an opening for a new writing coach. Talk about perfect timing!
I’m super grateful for the opportunity each and every year I come back. Ms. Rice took a major chance on hiring a person she’d never met before, and I’d like to think that I’ve lived up to her expectations, as well as the expectations of my students. In all my years of teaching, I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a more challenging program, nor have I ever had the opportunity to coach such a large number of ridiculously talented young writers.
What do you like about teaching online?
The dress code!
I mean, what other job lets me work in my jammies? Unless I get a job as a pajama model, it’s pretty doubtful that I’ll find another.
In all seriousness, though, I am really glad to have found a venue where I can work within my field of passion, which is teaching, while still doing something extremely important to me: raising my tiny humans.
Right now, I have two kids: my daughter, who’s slowly becoming a selfie queen and my son, who has no idea what the proper facial expression should be when someone says, “Say cheese!” (see exhibit A). They’re my whole world, and I’m so grateful that I get to put them right at the top of my priority list. They’re amazing.
I’m also a big fan of the fact that my job moves with me. My husband is in the army, so we move every few years. Before my online work, I’d have to quit my job and start fresh each time. But now, my job is wherever my home happens to be. It’s a pretty sweet deal.
What do you do with your family that you enjoy the most?
Since we’re a military family, I’ve really come to love traveling and exploring new places. My daughter is 4 and has already lived in three states, while my 2-year-old son has already lived in two. Needless to say, we move a lot. In any given place we live, we’re always visiting new museums and zoos, finding places to hike or ride bikes, and trying out every kind of restaurant you could ever think of. My family is always busy and never bored.
So far, we’ve lived in Texas, Tennessee, Colorado, and North Carolina (lots of southern states!). I’m looking forward to the new adventures life has to offer.