Well today marks the beginning of my 29th year in education. I always thought I would retire in the school district where I began. I have had many different experiences in Cajon Valley, teaching grades 2-8, mentoring new teachers, working as an instructional coach. It has been an amazing ride. I love working with students, and what I love about my career is the ability to continue to grow and learn and hone my craft.
Working on my doctoral studies this past year has allowed me to examine my own educational pedagogy, and I have met some amazing people in my program. I’ve learned that it is never too late to follow your passions, and live your dream. I am always encouraging my students that they can do anything with work and perseverance, and I need to take my own advice. So when an opportunity came knocking on my door, I have decided to boldly step out of my comfort zone, and take on a new challenge, leaving the security of the only district I have ever known to pursue new adventures. There are some who shake their head, and wonder why at this point in my career I would take on this new challenge, but those that really know me were not surprised, and even celebrated this decision.
Here is part of the letter I sent to the staff
Last week I received a call from my doctoral professors who are creating a new program at Health Sciences High Middle College, a school they have created in partnership with Sharp Hospital and SDSU. I was offered the opportunity to work at the middle school as a half time English/History teacher focusing on English learner strategies and the other half as a teacher coach working with staff and families supporting students. I will have the opportunity to continue my doctoral work and create new programing that supports literacy and academic success for students and create staff development opportunities that highlight strategies to support English learners in the content areas.Being partnered with SDSU, I will also be able to begin my journey back to working with aspiring teachers, in hopes of teaching courses in the future that empower new teachers to bring relevance, equity, and high academic standards to all students, but particularly those kids in urban environments.Change is not easy. After twenty eight years in Cajon Valley, I find it difficult to leave the district where I student taught and spent my entire career. But what I know for sure as an educator is that you must continue to grow and change to meet the ever changing needs of our kids. This opportunity will help me become an even better teacher, and I hope to influence other educators and families in a broader arena.
I have always set career goals since I first began teaching, one being that you don’t stay in the same site for more than seven to eight years, and that every move I make in my career leads to something new and challenging, making me a better educator. I never want to grow complacent or stale. .So today I officially resigned from my school district, and will spend this weekend meeting with my replacement and packing up my classroom. So here’s to year 29 in education, let it be a year full of firsts, and new beginnings.