Passionate for Education: In Which I Give a Brief Personal History
When I was twelve years old, I told my parents that I wanted to be the Superintendent of Portland Public Schools. That particular ship has probably sailed, but my excitement and fervor for making education work has never waned. I have a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Masters in Teaching. I was made for school. I deeply enjoy learning (I’ve even developed an interest in science in recent years!); as a former only child, I crave the social element of school; and I appreciate the routine.
A note about bias: Education was extremely important in my family. I was highly educated in public and Catholic schools and attended a private liberal arts university. In particular, I attended an all-girls high school. I am a white female who was well-cared for growing up. That said, I was also taught that an education is something that no one can ever take from me, and it was a ticket to success and fulfillment. It was worth working hard for. I continued to develop a strong work ethic working retail jobs during and after college to support myself when the economy plummeted and teaching jobs were scarce in 2009 (not that teaching pays much anyway). When I subbed, I purposed to place myself in schools where I did not match the demographic, either racially, culturally, or socio-economically. I grew personally and professionally in leaps and bounds, and much of what I observed has influenced me to delve deeper into changing our education system because it contrasted so much with my personal education background but I think all students could and should have access to what I experienced.
More notes about bias: I teach secondary students–grades 6-12. This is where my expertise lies and most of this blog will address issues specific to those students. However, I must give props to all elementary school teachers. It takes a special gift and patience to teach the little ones. You are organized and disciplined and sweet and you teach all the things students need to know how to function socially and academically by the time we get them in middle school. This generally enables us secondary teachers to be our laid-back selves and engage with our students as young adults and use our own teaching gifts. Thank you!
Regarding professional experience: Over the last seven years, I have subbed in public middle and high schools, small towns and bigger districts, rural and semi-urban. I have subbed and worked full time in private Christian and Catholic schools.
Over the next few weeks and months, as I develop this blog, I will be discussing varied topics but all stemming from my personal experience teaching in a classroom and many, many readings I’ve done on education in the United States (on a recent trip to Jamaica, I sat on the beach and read a book about high-stakes testing. I can’t help it!).
My passion is for 6-12 education. I believe I was created and placed in this time period specifically to do something about it. Thus for me, this is a calling. I am currently on hiatus from full-time teaching while I raise my baby, but even now, I can’t stay away from conversations about making education better.
Please feel free to add your thoughts in the comment section, but this is to be a dialogue. Trolls will not be tolerated or engaged. If you think I am totally off-base, please educate me as to why. I am always interested in hearing other perspectives, and I only request that you write respectfully.
Fun fact: The name of this blog was inspired by my students who often sang “Cruise” by Florida-Georgia Line whenever they saw me in the hallway. Roll your windows down and Crews 🙂