Two years ago: The intensity of my residency made graduate school seem like a walk in the park. I emerged a year later confident that I was as prepared as one can be to teach in a high-performing “no excuses” charter school. The year helped me reprioritize what I wanted needed in a teaching environment before I could effectively achieve positive classroom outcomes.
Armed with my new, abbreviated list…
- track record of high academic achievement for English language learners and students on the margins
- supportive administrators who are first and foremost instructional leaders
- teaching faculty who are committed to excellence and the advancement of the profession
- strong behavioral system and explicit character development.
…I hopped a plane to Denver to interview at a couple of high performing charter schools. Altitude sickness aside, the mountains worked their magic! Three days later I ecstatically checked each item off the list as I rode the SkyRide back down Peña Boulevard to the airport.
A year and nine months ago: I joined the team at STRIVE Prep Federal, the network’s flagship campus. YES. I knew it was the right fit then, but each month my interactions with colleagues and students served to reinforce this conclusion.
Five months ago: Teaching positions for the first ever STRIVE Prep elementary school went up on the website. I couldn’t apply fast enough for a lead teaching position at the campus, set to open Fall 2014.
Today: I’m beyond thrilled to be a part of the founding team at STRIVE Prep Ruby Hill! I couldn’t be more tickled about teaching the younger siblings of my current students. We have a team of rock stars, and it is a blessing to continue to serve the families of Southwest Denver. As a method of processing this learning year, I’ll be blogging about the experience of working in Southwest Denver, founding a charter school, transitioning from middle to elementary, and transitioning from a single to co-teacher instructional model.