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 re-prioritize what 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 that conclusion!
Five months ago: Teaching positions for the first ever STRIVE Prep elementary school went up on the website. I could not 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 am so tickled to teach 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.