Welp! Yet again, we have an outstanding guest blogger with an invigorating story to share. Don’t forget to join us tomorrow night to keep the conversation going.
Each One, Teach One
by Angel McNeil
On my very first day of school as a teacher, I remember thinking, “I have no idea what I am doing. What in the world am I doing here?”
Somewhere in the middle of undergrad I decided a career within the major I was studying was not for me. Instead, I chose to answer my true calling of becoming an educator. Post graduation, I accepted a position as an Instructional Assistant in a charter school in Philadelphia. I began the job with little experience working with young children or even knowing how to manage a classroom! I was a mess. Well, thank God for, Mrs. Hohman, the lead teacher. Mrs. Hohman was everything to me: a leader, a professor, a mom, and a coach. I’m quite sure I would not have become the teacher I am today had it not been for her.
Mrs. Hohman taught me the importance of having a seasoned teacher to coach you along the way. Every new teacher needs guidance on his or her performance, someone to give feedback, tips, and that person to hand you a tissue when you have one of those teaching days. Trust me, every teacher will have a “tissue” kind of day.
Constant professional development for teachers is necessary for improvement and success. Furthermore, coaching needs to be differentiated based on the needs of the teacher. If a teacher’s practice is improved then a child’s learning will improve. I get saddened and angered when so much blame is being put on teachers for lack of student achievement. I often want to yell at the top of my lungs “What have schools done to help teachers achieve?” This is what that has driven me to take my next step.
I realize not everyone who steps foot in a classroom for the first time is fortunate enough to have a Mrs. Hohman. Therefore, my passion has become to help teachers, especially new teachers, improve their practice. Statistics show there will be an influx of new teachers from various backgrounds needing more support than knowing where the copy machine is and when lesson plans are due. I want to help the teachers who have the same mix of emotions swimming in their heads that I did. Those teachers who decided that their calling was education. Those teachers who want answers but don’t know who to turn to. Therefore, I’m building a blog site that will offer a Mrs. Hohman-like support system for teachers in need.
My goal for the blog is to provide real advice from a classroom teacher (me) in the areas that are critical and pertinent to the success of a teacher. It is my hope to provide a forum for teachers to come to me with a question or situation and I then provide differentiated coaching posts based on that topic. And of course, like a good teacher, I’ll post an exit ticket that will allow for teachers to share their thoughts, ideas, and progress so this can be a true learning community.
Being a teacher has been a dream come true. I don’t know who I would have become had I not listened to my inner voice and followed my passion. I have stayed in the profession I love because I had someone in my life guiding me and helping me to improve. Now that I am expanding my dream to help others just as someone did for me, confirms how worth it this journey is.
Exit Ticket: Think back to your first year in your job: What is one thing that you wish someone would have coached you on?
Angel McNeil is a Curriculum Specialist at Apple Tree Learning Early Learning Public Charter School in Falls Church, VA. She is a graduate is American University and holds a Masters in Education degree from Grand Canyon University. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc and a member of Capital Cause where she works to eradicate poverty in the Washington, DC area.
Leaders like Angel who have chosen to answer their calling are the inspiration for tomorrow’s webinar. While Angel chose to answer her calling early, it is never too late to answer yours. Just like Angel, you may already be half way there; you just need to tap into the next level. Or you may be like Ebonie and need to do a complete 180. Wherever you are, we invite you to join us to begin the career you love. REGISTER NOW!