This remarkable sculpture reminds me that children, educators, and schools are
constantly evolving -- and that we each play a role in helping bring that change about.
Who Am I?
I'm a kindergarten teacher striving to bridge theory, policy, and PRACTICE in Washington, D. C. I believe in: data-driven instruction, play, interest-based projects, Dewey, the Zone of Proximal Development, community schools, and a balance between content and process.
I am currently in my 4th year of teaching. For 3 years, I have taught kindergarten in a D. C. Public School. In my 1st year of teaching, I taught older children in an alternative-model secondary school with very little teacher training. That led me to join Teach for America and enroll in an education Master's degree program, both of which I completed in 2 years. My school isn't perfect, but I am very happy there. I am blessed to work with many remarkable colleagues, students, and families. Although D. C. Public Schools face many challenges, I believe in working within the public school system to make sure every child has access to an amazing education.
Why Do I Have a Blog?
I write this blog to help children. There are two main channels through which I hope to benefit students: One, influencing better education policies, (helping all kids influenced by the policies,) and two, growing myself as an educator (helping the kids in my classes.) Unfortunately, blogging about policy as a teacher is difficult. Teaching can be all-consuming, so carving out time to write is hard, let alone freeing up the mental space to engage with issues of policy outside our classrooms. Because of those and other difficulties, our policy conversations, online and off, suffer from a dearth of thoughtful teacher voices. The more thoughtful, articulate teacher voices we have in our policy discussion, the better our decisions will be for children.
The second big benefit is helping myself continue to grow as a professional. As many mentors have taught me, I need to keep challenging myself as I become more proficient in the daily acts of teaching. Although I have lots of room to improve my teaching craft, I also feel ready to start reaching out of my own practice and into leadership and policy. As I do so, I will bring new energy and inquisitiveness to my daily practice, as well as exciting ideas from other educator-advocates. Through doing my best as a blogger, I hope to make life better for children inside and outside my classroom.
Why Am I Anonymous?
I do not like anonymity. I am a hyper-honest individual, and writing anonymously feels strange to me. However, as I began reading education blogs, I quickly realized that writing about my experience would risk putting inappropriate attention on my students, their families, or my colleagues. Although I dislike anonymity, their privacy takes precedence, so I chose to blog anonymously. (Thank you to the trusted mentors who helped me make this tough choice.)
I did NOT choose anonymity to shield myself from criticism. I firmly believe I should only publish things I would say to the relevant decision makers, be they my principal, Michelle Rhee, or families of my students. I use that “reality check” as I write – Before I hit “Publish,” I ask myself “Would I say this to my principal? To Michelle Rhee? To a mom? Have I taken all available opportunities to do so?” My goal is not to bash, complain, or polarize educators, but instead to share experiences and ideas which might benefit children.
What Do I Believe?
Visit the "Beliefs" page to read posts in which I explain some of my most fundamental beliefs about teaching and learning.