Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Goals

I am official knee deep in summer activities. By summer activities I mean the laziness and joy that comes with a break from the grind of the school year. I think a lot of people just assume teachers just sit around and do nothing over summer break. Whereas there is some of that (after all it is our vacation) my friends and I are constantly working or doing something. Along with planning for my new teaching position and Ph.D program for next year I have set some goals for myself this summer.

First, a simple goal is to blog weekly. I'm hoping that if I can get into a habit of blogging this summer that it will become more of a habit during the school year. I'm not a terribly good writer but I do like blogging when I am able to do it.

Secondly, I would like to read 5 books this summer. I have to read a few books for my Ph.D program (check) and I have various books in my possession that I've got over the past few years so I don't believe I'll have to buy many of the books I'll read. The books range from classics by CS Lewis, to Rob Bell, to books on how to make a good business better. I'd like to become an avid reader but due to apathy and excuses I never have. Most of the time it completely depends on the book and my interest level on the given topic. The books I have etched out to read will be knocked out hopefully by mid-July.

Thirdly, I would like to have more independent time with God. I don't want this to be a boxed in, concrete time; however, I would like this time to take a variety of shapes and sizes. This may be more time in prayer, more time in Bible, or more time studying particular christian topics. Like blogging, this is something I really want to get in the flow of now so I wont have to worry about budgeting it in during the school year.

Fourth, I would like to eat substantially better. Too often by apathy or excuse I eat terrible. The workouts I put my body through are of high intensity and high caliber but the results are limited due to a poor diet. So, this summer I want to get into a more healthy routine. I have to make sure this isn't something that is short-lived but something that can be replicated when true busyness hits. I'm diligent and responsible when it comes to working out (typically 5-6 days a week) but struggle with the food aspect.

Lastly, a goal of mine is to relax. I'm the type of personality that always has to be doing something so true relaxation may be hard. It's also tough because working ahead and knocking out work is relaxing to me. However, this summer I'm going to spend a week on a cottage on a lake up in Michigan to simply unwind before I start my grad school program in mid-July. In Michigan I hope to not do much work. I want to spend the majority of my time on the beach, reading, and spending time with the people I'll be with.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I'm Back and an Update

Blogging is always something I have intentions to do but it never actually happens. I've decided the further I get into education the more I want to blog. I obviously wouldn't be doing the work I'm doing if I didn't think it was of the utmost importance. If I truly believe what I do is important than why not share it with my friends, family, and others on the blogosphere? I could chalk up my blogging absence to busyness or apathy but I'll skip excuses and simply dive into updates of my life.

Let's go way back! The past two years I have been engaged with Teach For America teaching at a charter elementary charter school located on the west side of Indianapolis. The past two years have easily been two of the most forming and impacting years of my life as I do work I'm passionate about and meet people that truly inspire and impact my life. Fast forward, my two year commitment is now over (TFA Alum) and an array of opportunities have made themselves available for me.

I served my two year Teach For America commitment at one school (that I was placed at) but decided that that school was not the school I would choose to stay in. Don't get me wrong I love the demographic and population I serve at my school and will continue to serve the exact same population at my new school. I am moving to another charter on a different side of Indianapolis. The school is called KIPP Indy which is obviously a school in the KIPP network if you are familiar. Instead of teaching 5th grade everything (Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies) I will be teaching 7th grade math. So, obviously, I win. With familiar leadership, higher behavioral and academic expectations, and an increased salary it was a no brainer to move to KIPP.

The past two years I worked on and finished up my Masters in Teaching. As I continued to teach and the passion for quality education grew in me I decided that education leadership was an area I must pursue. I applied and go into a doctoral program where I will be pursuing my Doctorate in Education. After my 3 years in the program I will have my Ph. D and an Indiana principal's license. It's really a fast track to becoming a school leader and expanding my impact on public education specifically for an urban population.

That's a snapshot of what's happening in my life. The idea is to blog weekly. We'll see if it happens. I will publicize any blog post I make. I'll leave you with a link of something else I have done on the side of teaching. I have done some writing for Michelle Rhee's organization Students First. Here is an article I wrote about all of the recent education legislation in Indiana.