Another blogger on education. Really? Is that necessary? What could there possibly be out there that is not written up in another blog, or, rather, hundreds of other blogs? What do I think I can add to the blogosphere? Good question. A question to which I do not have a solid answer. If pressed, it would sound something like I have the most experience within the experience of my own teaching experience. That makes me an expert.
You will find my posts to be more philosophically based, leaving you with questions. Large brush strokes with no answers except for those with which you leave when done thinking. I spend my free time discussing education with friends and peers. Some people watch baseball, others have fantasy football teams, still more are impressed with cars. I geek out on all things education.
If this were an interview, you would have already read my resume. It would include such items as 13years of teaching; Nationally Board Certified in Early Adolescent English/Language Arts; a diverse involvement in education outside of the school day; special education certified; and a simple byline that states “just odd enough to elicit the excitement of students”.
I went through school just as expected. Elementary....Junior High...High School...College. I have held three jobs in my life, all for a number of years. I was a paper boy from 4th grade until high school graduation. I painted houses for about 10 years, starting right after high school graduation. Singularly focused and highly dedicated. I figured with my college coursework, grades, and involvement in schools, I would land a job straight out of college...however, that was not the case.
I subbed for a couple of years, holding a variety of long-term sub jobs, each time waiting for that "teacher retirement" group everyone seemed to say was on the way. I have taught in a variety of subjects: physics, biology, speech, poetry, special education, and English. My love of teaching is found in the English class which oddly was a class in which I did simple "okay", but never saw the reason to care; dead authors…who cares? As a student, my classes were science and math. Yet, as the teacher, I find that so much growth and enthusiasm and genuine love of learning can be found in my English classroom.
For the span of 2007-2009, I took a year’s leave of absence to be at home with my three sons (cue music). I did this because it is a part of their lives, the family life, of which I want to experience.
This was a hard decision for me, to take a non-linear path. On one hand, I had the great opportunity to spend time with my sons. On the other hand, I had a well established career; a place in a school; a name for myself in the community. Stay-at-home-dad or consistent course? I did choose to stay at home and after a couple of months, when my colleagues stopped forwarding emails, I let go of “that world” of teaching, but I never stopped thinking about education.
In 2006 I received my National Boards for Professional Teaching Standards certificate in Early Adolescent English/Language Arts, the highest certification a teacher can achieve. After receiving my certification, I facilitated candidates going through the NBPTS process.
I am returning from a two-year leave of absence where I was a stay-at-home dad and worked with various educational organizations in Washington state. Some of my family's life from that time is shared in my bike column entitled, The Wheel American Family.
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