It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. Franklin D. Roosevelt
I began my journey in education while I was still a child. In elementary school, I began questioning and exploring what the classroom was and what it should be. I knew that education was access to the stepping stones by which I would climb through life, but I also recognized that many of my peers sitting in the desks next to me were miserable. These questions turned into passion when I started volunteering in classrooms before I had even graduated high school. I became a NC Teaching Fellow, began a degree in Elementary Education, and found myself adopted by a department that would change my life- the Visiting Writers Series at Lenoir-Rhyne University. I went on to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts in English at UNC-Wilmington, mentor in another campus program, and teach a college level composition course. But, let’s be honest; none of this could fully prepare me for the difficult path that had been laid before me in education. Teaching is an impossible task that somehow the strongest people I know manage to do every day of the week with great personal sacrifice.
The guiding light behind my own classroom was always the needs of my students. What did they need to be prepared for the world that was waiting for them? How could I help them reach out and connect with the rest of humanity? Who did they need me to be in this moment to help them on this journey? According to the poster that hung next to my desk in my high school American History class, President FDR once said, “It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” So I did. I taught. I listened to my students, and I learned.
As an Instructional Facilitator, my job is to serve teachers at a time in education where more is asked of them than there are often resources to make that happen. I am the bridge in communication, the advocate for those enacting the policies in real time every day, and the one who can make sure that teachers have what they need to grow into the teacher that they envision being for their students. As the famous parable states, “To whom much is given, much is required,” so it is with great seriousness that I take on the position of serving our dedicated teachers. I count it a privilege, and I would like to make some resolutions as we strive together towards West Montgomery High School’s vision this year.
- When I see good teaching, I will learn from it, showcase it, and recognize that we all have different talents that make the learning of our students well-rounded. I will partner with others to create an environment that supports this excellence.
- I will focus on empowering excellence rather than policing incompetence. Our staff is full of professionals who are experts in their fields and that genuinely want students to succeed and know their students well. They deserve trust, respect, and professionalism.
- I will garner relationships of collaboration and communication in which members are less concerned with “staying in their lane” and more concerned with meeting the needs of our students together through honest conversations about growth and deficits.
- When implementing new tools or programs, I will consider how to tailor them to meet the needs of our teachers and how to make them sustainable over time.
- I will leverage the voices and strengths of those I serve rather than trying first to impart my talents on them. I am first and foremost a facilitator, a servant leader, not a step above someone or someone who deserves respect because of my position. I will win respect because of my ability to invest in a shared vision/mission consistently and wholeheartedly.
- I will leave a legacy behind me that has developed an expectation of respect, inquiry, timely communication, and collaboration. This place will be stronger because of my service here and I will be stronger because of my service here.
Together, with West Montgomery High School, I look forward to meeting the needs of our students.