Hello! Get to know a little about me: Prima-Marie Dailey! Is “Marie” part of my first name or my middle name? You’ll never really know because I don’t even know. I think my parents intended on it being the former, but it never transferred over to my birth certificate. So although my birth certificate and license have them as two separate names, other legal documents have them as one, and therein lies the question!
“Prima” is a unique name–it means “first” in Italian which is 75% of my heritage, and “cousin” in Spanish which is 0% of my heritage! More importantly though, I was named after my maternal grandmother.
I’m 41 years old and a career changer. Upon graduating from Michigan State University in 2004, I began an eight-year career in advertising working at an ad agency in Southfield. Right around the time I was walking into a new decade, my 30’s, I was starting to feel unfulfilled from a career that I dedicated my post-college life to. At first, I went through denial, telling myself that I wasn’t abandoning a career when I just received a promotion and a raise. Bottom line, I wasn’t starting over at 30 years old.
But then one day, I just did. And it was one of the best decisions I made in my life. At 30 years old, I went back to school and four years later, I got my Masters of Teaching from Oakland University!
I’ve worked in the Berkley School District wearing many hats since 2012, but I’m most known for teaching first grade and now seventh and eighth grade language and literature and journalism. One thing I’ve noticed about my career path and the journey to where I am today is that with every change, life got better. I knew the moment I stepped foot in the kindergarten class where I student taught, I was home. Then when I received my own classroom as the aforementioned first grade teacher, I was home but now getting paid!
Finally, moving from elementary to middle school, I’ve found my true calling. Middle school is a tough phase, but I love it! My students are just cool people, they make me laugh, and I go home feeling fulfilled every day which makes this change in my career come full circle. If you get a chance, hang out with some pre-teens; they will amaze you.
What I Like To Do
When I’m not teaching (or grading essays), you can find me reading YA (young adult) novels so that I stay current with the newest trends in books for my students. I’m also in the process of writing my first children’s book!
I believe my 40’s are so far, my favorite decade (in the one and a half years I’ve lived it). I feel really settled and happy. However, I’ve also been doing a lot of reflecting on my life and do have some regrets. While I danced for much of my life, I’ve only dabbled in everything else. I would try a sport here or a hobby there then once the season was over, I never looked back. Some of those things I really enjoyed but the fact that I wasn’t good at them, deterred me.
I obviously had a fixed mindset and now that I’m older, more experienced, and mature, I know better. So now with a renewed spirit (and growth mindset), it’s better late than never. While I still dance for sport and movement in my life, I’ve picked tennis back up with weekly lessons and even have a personal tennis pro, my husband!
I’ve been married since 2010 to my husband Jim who I met at 23 years old while working at that Southfield ad agency. Things weren’t instant with us. I was in another relationship at that time and he was not interested in dating someone he worked with. So instead, we formed a nice solid foundation on friendship. After six months of dancing around each other, we made it official!
If there is one thing I can say about Jim, it is that he makes me laugh. Even after 18 years together, he has me laughing every day. I think that’s what I love most about him. Well that, and how much he loves our daughter.
We became parents through adoption to a beautiful African American girl. We were chosen to be her parents and knew about her two days AFTER her birth. In 24 hours, we became parents. No really, we did!
From the moment we knew about her to the time we brought her home, it was the span of one whole day. She amazes me every day and sometimes I still can’t believe that we get to raise this wonderful little girl. There are a lot of things I could say about Gia, but I’ll let her teachers do the talking . . .
”Gia is very kind and compassionate to all her classmates, she embraces new students and helps problem-solve for all her friends.”
This is HUGE for us! Academics are important, but it is more important that she has empathy for others and reaches out to those in need. Every day before she gets on the bus I say, “Be kind to your teacher. Be kind to your friends. And if you see someone playing by themselves, ask them to play!”
Where I’m From + What We Like To Do
I grew up in Clinton Township, went to college in East Lansing, and after getting married we decided to plant our roots in Ann Arbor. Yes, I am a Sparty girl living in a Wolverine world, but . . . we love it there! One of the best things about living in Ann Arbor is raising children and the sense of community that comes with it. Whether it’s a neighbor, another school parent, or someone you meet at the pool, your village expands exponentially.
There is also so much to do, and a lot of it is FREE! We absolutely love to visit the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. Admission is free and they have weekend workshops (most of them also free) for children interested in science. All the Ann Arbor public libraries have weekly story time for younger children. During the summer, they have a reading program called “Summer Game” and daily activities that reach different age and interest levels. Last summer, Gia made a solar oven, and we made s’mores just by using the sun!
Since the summer of 2020, the city closes down Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor during the weekend to allow for more outdoor seating. We enjoy sitting on the rooftop of Palio on a warm summer night with friends and when we leave our daughter at home, you can find us at Pacific Rim, Black Pearl, or Grizzly Peak.
That is me in a nutshell! I hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little bit and I look forward to sharing more of my life as time goes on. I cannot wait to connect with you.