I began teaching five years ago right out of college. I considered myself one of the “Lucky Ones” in that I was able to secure a full-time teaching position at a time when many of my college friends were struggling to get their foot in the door. I am blessed to be a bilingual speaker of English and Spanish and credit that skill to being a determining factor in being hired from a pool of thousands of applicants in the New York City school system.
I began teaching at the inception of the Common Core State Standards in NY and through the roll-out of No Child Left Behind. Unfortunately, I have to admit then that I did not fully understand the consequences that this federal initiative would have on my teaching practices. I was just a young teacher who couldn’t wait to start creating engaging lesson plans, putting up bulletin boards, conducting read-alouds, along with all of the rewarding activities that come with the job and of course ultimately affecting the lives of young children.
As the years passed I started to become more aware of how federal education mandates directly impact teaching practices, the philosophy of educational leaders, the well-being of teachers, and most importantly the welfare of students. I worked in a Bronx public school for two years and due to many reasons I left to take a teaching position in a small school in Dutchess County, NY. There I currently teach first grade in an inclusion classroom.
Fast forward to now, I feel that a veil has been lifted from my eyes and I am becoming more and more entrenched in the work of educators who are learning how to combat the educational reform movement. I am immensely impressed in the educators I meet who are willing to share their thoughts about how CCSS and the reform movement are affecting their teaching. I am still trying to figure out my stance on lots of issues and the platform from which I will grow my thoughts. So in this blog, I do not intend to share my personal and political views, instead I would like to reflect upon current educational issues. I also intend to share my thoughts on leadership and how best to lead in these times as I am learning so much information that I know will be useful to me in my future as an educational leader.
So here’s to taking the first step into the blogging world. Wish me luck!