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Day 1 in the 21 Century Learning Department.
Last week, I was a math teacher and department co-chair at Santa Ana High School. This is probably one of the craziest things I have done, I am a teacher, what am I thinking. I certainly had a lot of people wondering about that over the last week. But, having worked with Bryan and Wes over the summer, I saw something so fresh and new, I knew I wanted to be a part of it in some way. I had no idea a month ago that I would be cleaning out my room and putting all of my teacher things away for who knows how long. I took pictures of student letters written to me, and projects that I just couldn’t get rid of. I agonized over my files filled with the most awesome lessons ever, or at least that’s what I thought, and put all of my markers and student supplies in a box to give to another teacher. Each step of the way, I thought, what am I doing? I know what its like here, I’m so happy, my colleagues are the best, we are a team, and I just learned the most awesome curriculum at a 4 day training that I won’t get to teach. I’m so sad to leave. But, something inside kept me moving forward with the decision to take this risk.
I have been reading the Mindset book by Carol Dweck and it has really helped me to look at risk and the unknown in a different way. How will I know if I never try. So I walked in on my first morning, very excited and nervous about what my first day would look like. I stayed up the night before trying to imagine what it would be like and what I would be doing. It was nothing like what I thought, it was better.
The work we are doing throughout the day is important, but it is the mindsets of the people around me that make the work worth doing. It is an environment where people are willing to stand on the edge of the unknown, and forge ahead anyway. It is also an environment of acceptance where people are willing to admit failures and mistakes and still try again. And because of this willingness to try and try again, I know that we will be much closer to providing the learning environments that teachers and students so rightfully deserve. So, while I say goodbye to the classroom and school that I love, I will do everything I can to make this work as meaningful and impactful for as many as I possibly can.
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