Two Monday mornings

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The first post in my promised year-in-review series.

I suppose this is true for all jobs, but in teaching I know it to be true: Monday morning can make or break an entire week.  Sometimes you can get a vibe as soon as you get in the car.  On some Monday mornings, I can sail down the road effortlessly and hear “Regulate” by Nate Dogg and Warren G on XM’s ’90s station and just know deep down that the week is off to a good start.  Or I can oversleep, hit a giant traffic jam and hear Nickelback, and know that the week might end up sucking.

Monday morning is usually eventful once I get to school as well.  The kids haven’t seen each other in a couple of days, students and teachers alike are scrambling to get things ready for the week, and it tends to be rather bustling.  Oddly enough, two of my most memorable moments at school this year occurred before first period began on Monday mornings.  One event was probably one of the worst things I’ve personally experienced as a teacher; the other was one of the most rewarding.

The Bad

I’ll start with the worst of times; in addition to my typical desire to get unpleasantness out of the way, it happened first chronologically.  One Monday morning in March, as I was in my classroom arranging stuff for the day’s class, my colleague across the hall came in and said in a rather alarmed tone, “Alex, I think there’s something going on in the boys’ bathroom.  I think you should go check it out.”  Just the way I wanted to start the week.

By the time I got up there, “something” had actually moved out of the restroom and into the school’s common area.  One student was doubled over, clutching his shoulder; another student was bent over taunting him, about what I couldn’t hear.  Other students were milling about with that Oh man oh man oh man there’s about to be a fight! air about them.

I got between the two students at the center of the whole deal and addressed the apparently injured student first. “You okay?” I asked.

“Yeah, I’m fine, just hurt my shoulder yesterday,” he replied.  I didn’t buy it for a second, but diffusing any potential bad business was my first priority at this point.

“All right,” I told him, “just go get your stuff, 1st period’s about to start.”  I then turned to the other student, whose behavior had been pretty bad for awhile, resulting in several short-term suspensions.  “I don’t know what this was about, but just go to class.”

This student had other ideas.  “Man, fuck that, I ain’t fuckin’ goin’ to class,” he said as he turned to walk away.

Oh hell no.  “WHAT?!” I called after him, my voice probably tinged with an incredulous laugh.

At this point, the situation devolved into the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever been part of as a teacher.  The student turned back around, got directly in my face, and started yelling.  “‘What?’ You gonna say ‘What?’ to me?” he screamed. “I don’t like you.  I will mash you, bro.”

I knew how Nate Dogg and Warren G would deal with this – sixteen in the clip and one in the hole and what-not.  But in spite of wishing very badly that I knew kung fu at that moment, I did my best to remain calm since there were witnesses.  “You don’t have to like me, but you do have to go to class,” I told him with a laugh, trying anything I could to calm him down.  It didn’t work; he just kept getting more and more pissed off and agitated.  About that time, Eric (my boss) came into the gallery and essentially dragged the student away.

That little incident, combined with numerous other transgressions, resulted in that student eventually withdrawing from RTHS.  I informed my colleagues that they were welcome, and that they should consider a donation to the Raptors athletic department in lieu of flowers.

…and the Good…

Students like the aforementioned ne’er-do-well tend to dominate a teacher’s mind when thinking about school, but it’s important to point out that most of RTHS’s student body is outstanding.  For every problem child in our classes, we have probably 10 students who are respectful, funny, smart, and focused, and make teaching so fun and rewarding.

Attrition is part of any high school class from the first day of 9th grade to the end of 12th.  Some students get attritioned (attritted? attrished? REMOVED.) by administraton (see the previous segment of this post), but other students move, or fail a bunch of classes and opt for a fresh start, or simply decide they want a different kind of school.

Over the course of the spring semester we found out about several students who wouldn’t be returning next year.  And while most of these students had no tears shed on their behalf when they walked out the door for the last time, a couple of them were serious bummers because they were such cool people and great students – their families were moving.  But it goes without saying that we as a faculty really wanted to hold on to all of our top talent.

So imagine my horror when another teacher informs me that two of our brightest, sweetest girls – one of whom, a brilliant student named Hope, I taught – were considering attending a new charter school in Raleigh that was going to be more convenient to their homes in Wake County.  That same week, Hope came to me to ask about next year.

“Mr. Drake, what are the chances of me having you as a teacher next year?”

“Are you planning on taking AP Government?” I asked her, knowing the answer full well.  The girl had a 99 average in Honors World Civ.

“Yes, of course.”

“Then the chance of having me is 100 percent.  Don’t leave.”  She looked surprised that I knew her little secret, awkwardly laughed, and walked off.

The faculty engaged in a will-they-or-won’t-they about these two for a couple of weeks.  The teachers gently worked their powers of persuasion over both of them, selling them on our superior academics and opportunities in RTP that we offered.  I didn’t take part in that beyond my one comment to Hope, figuring that they were gonna do what they were gonna do whether I put the screws to them or not.

Then, one Monday morning in April, as I was rushing to the office to make a copy before students got to class, Hope approached me as she was coming in the front door.  “Mr. Drake!” she called out.  “I just wanted to let you know that I’m not changing schools next year.”  This is how to start a week off right!  “That’s great to hear!” I told her.

But she wasn’t done.  “I know that this school can do a lot for me, and knowing that I’ll have you for AP Government was a big plus for coming back.”  I’ve seldom been more flattered in my career as a teacher.  I didn’t really care why Hope was coming back to RTHS as long as she was coming back, but to have played some small part in her decision made me very, very happy.

They say that one of the big pluses of being a teacher is that every day is different.  These two Monday mornings, illustrating two very different sides of the education profession, demonstrated that to me in a strikingly clear way.  There are awful days and great days.  Days that make you wonder what you were thinking getting into this gig, and days when you couldn’t imagine doing anything else.  It keeps you on your toes, and it makes going to work every day quite an exciting proposition.

I just hope that the music I hear on the way to work is good.

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One year down

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The Class of ’16

Today, as I sat in a 78,000-square-foot meeting hall at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville reading about Rosa Parks for the seventy billionth time this week, the clock struck noon.  And I took a break from my task of grading AP U.S. History essays, looked up, and grinned.  Four hundred miles away, back home in Durham, the inaugural school year at Research Triangle High School was coming to a quiet close.

Now, contrary to what you may think, I’ve not forgotten about my blog.  But I’ve sure as hell been too busy to touch it lately.  Between working on plans for next year, scheduling our athletic events for the fall, and planning my impending wedding, there’s been virtually no time to write.

But I still have plenty to say, and I hope to share it over the course of the next few weeks – when I’m not putting the finishing touches on my nuptials or lounging on my honeymoon.  In the meantime, you can check out this cool video put together by RTHS lead English teacher and yearbook guru Deb Brown consisting of all the leftover photos that didn’t make our inaugural yearbook.

The year ahead

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My initial intent when I sat down to write this was to reflect on the craziness that was my 2012.  But you can read my blog and take all that in.  For those of you who haven’t been reading it and are too time-strapped or lazy to go catch up, though, here’s a Readers Digest version of it: I started the year working for a college athletic department in Alabama, decided I hated it, got hired by my longtime friend for a second go-round as a history teacher, moved back to North Carolina, and built a World History curriculum and high school athletic department from scratch at a brand-new charter school.  And somewhere in there, I turned 30.

Got all that?  Good.  Let’s move forward.

As interesting and exciting as 2012 was, 2013 holds so much to be excited about, so I’ve decided to use this space to look forward to all the awesome things that will happen in the next year.

January 22-25: Teacher Scholars.  It’s my first business trip as an RTHS faculty member!  Lead English teacher Deb Brown and I will be heading to Cullowhee for four days for the Teacher Scholars in Residence program at the N.C. Center for the Advancement of Teaching.  We’ll be given the space and resources to work on our flipped videos and get a head start on the 2013-14 English and social studies curricula.  We’ll also be given top-flight food and accommodations.  Maybe I’ll even try skiing out while I’m up there – I’ll just make sure I get a Raptor green cast on whatever limb I shatter.

Spring 2013, date TBD: Bachelor party.  What do tigers dream of…

June 1-7: AP Reading.  I haven’t been officially invited back to Louisville yet, so this may be putting the cart before the horse, but the College Board sent me a sort of “save-the-date” notification in the fall, so I guess I’ll be going back to the AP U.S. History reading.  Chemistry and U.S. History are both in Louisville at the same time, so I’m hoping that my boss Eric gets invited back for Chemistry.  That’d be a pretty fun way to end our first school year.

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Aren’t we cute?!

June 22: Wedding bells.  As of June 22, my fiancee Jess and I will have been engaged for three years and three days.  We went to grad school and became way too poor to have the wedding we both wanted, so we stuck it out and finished our degrees – I think going through the difficult graduate-level work and grinding poverty together made us a stronger team.  Now we both have jobs in the Triangle and can afford to have a lovely wedding and a heck of a party.

June? July?  Honeymoon.  If anyone has any suggestions, we’d love to hear them.

July, date TBD: RTHS Camp 2.0.  Last year’s inaugural freshman orientation went a long way toward bringing such a diverse student body together, and gave the teachers an opportunity to meet our future charges.  This year, we’ll get to meet in the actual school building and have the full technological resources of the school, so it should be a lot more fun and a lot less stressful.

Soccer Shield Rays 1

Every soccer program needs a shield.

July 29: Fall sports practice opens.  The Research Triangle Raptors will be in the N.C. High School Athletic Association as an independent 1A member next year, and our first-ever boys’ soccer and girls’ volleyball teams will begin tryouts.  Our cross country team will also start its second season with high hopes after such a successful inaugural year.

August 12: Year two!  RTHS will welcome back 140 sophomores, enroll 105 new freshmen, break in a brand new wing of the building (including the new athletic directors’ office), and see numerous new teachers and staff members joining us in providing a top-notch education to our students.

August 31: Kickoff!  Being at Auburn for two years only heightened my excitement over the Charlotte 49ers FINALLY adding a football program.  I don’t know if I’ll get tickets to the Niners’ inaugural game against Campbell, but at the very least I plan to be on campus, tailgating and taking it all in, just so that years later I can tell my kids that I was there.

December 31: The second annual look ahead.  Hopefully I’ll get to spend 2013 writing about all the amazing experiences mentioned above – well, maybe not the bachelor party – and look ahead to all that 2014 will bring.

I’ve loved spending the last seven months creating this record of the experiences of me and my school, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it.  I hope all of you have a healthy, productive, and rewarding 2013.

Perseverance

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Many schools – the ones I’ve attended or worked at, at least – reward academic achievement, whether it’s an honor roll reception or a big year-end awards ceremony with accolades handed out for scholarships, straight A’s, or high test scores.

Rewarding academic prowess is great, but at Research Triangle we’ve tried to reward other positive qualities we’ve seen our students exhibit in addition to doing great in class.  Once a month, we gather all of our students in the gallery (something we won’t be able to do next year when we add over 100 new freshmen) to recognize students for not only academic achievement, but other qualities they’ve exhibited such as zest, curiosity, gratitude, social intelligence, improved work ethic, and perseverance.

As the athletic director, I know that perseverance has been a quality that our student-athletes must have at a first-year high school.  Our cross country team was incredibly successful, but I knew that was probably going to end up being an anomaly; brand new high school sports teams just aren’t supposed to be good at much.  When I was at Robinson, it took some of the sports teams several years to get off the mat, and they had over 1,500 students to pull from.

Perseverance would definitely be needed as we began play in our first-ever holiday tournament yesterday – a tournament just for JV teams in Asheboro.  Since we only have freshmen, we thought this would be a good opportunity to play teams more on our level instead of getting drilled on a regular basis by varsity squads who have guards taller than our center.

The girls’ game got underway yesterday afternoon with our only five players on the court – everyone else was indisposed due to the holidays.  From the first minute, it was pretty apparent that things were going to go badly; among the missing players were virtually all the guards, so just getting the ball up the court was proving difficult.  We trailed 12-2 after the first quarter and 28-2 at the half.  A 16-point deficit at the half is not insurmountable in most cases, but everyone at the game – including the players – seemed to know that just making it to double digits would be an accomplishment.

It’s here that perseverance is really put to the test.  Sixteen more minutes of basketball to play, virtually no chance of winning, and no subs on the bench.  Packing it in and just running out the clock is easy.  But that’s not what most of our students do, and that’s not what the girls on the floor did.

Sierra Street, who also scored the team’s only bucket in the first half, added a basket in the 3rd quarter, but the scoreboard remained stuck there through the rest of the 3rd and into the 4th.  With two minutes remaining, we trailed 46-4.  I was sitting in the stands across from our bench, wondering how I was going to tweet this score to the people to whom I’d promised updates.  With about a minute and a half to go, Nikki Khoshnoodi got free with the ball near the top of the key and knocked down a three to pull us within 39 points – the comeback was on!  After a defensive stop, Katie Dixon knocked down another three pointer.  For the first time, the tens digit on the scoreboard lit up.  The final score: Chatham Central 46, Research Triangle 10.  That looks a hell of a lot better than 46-4, or even 46-7.  I can tweet 46-10.

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I intercepted Nikki and Katie as they were walking toward the locker room.  “Where was that the first 30 minutes of the game?” I joked as I high-fived them.  The Chatham Central coach was standing in the tunnel as we got there, and he was heaping on the praise.  “You guys played so hard,” he was telling our girls.  “It’s so tough to play an entire game, and you really kept after it.”  He went on to say that our girls did a lot of positive things and, if they keep working as hard as they did during the game, they’ll surely improve.

I doubt an athletic director has ever been as proud after a 36-point beating as I was at that moment.  Our girls worked hard and persevered, and other people noticed.  One of these days we’ll persevere and win, but I’ll take this for now.

Candy Land by candlelight: My recollections of Hurricane Hugo

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The Charlotte Observer from Saturday, September 23, 1989. “The devastating winds of Hurricane Hugo left [Charlotteans] with moneyless money machines, no power at the grocery story [sic], and no Notre Dame vs. Michigan State football game on TV.” Snort… “money machines.”

When I woke up in the middle of the night on September 22, 1989, I noticed two things out of the ordinary.  First off, something was hitting my bedroom window and making a ton of noise.  Secondly, my night light was off – for six-year-old me, that was far more troublesome.

I went across the hall to my parents’ room, fully intending to wake them up and lodge a complaint about my night light situation, only to find that they too were awake, listening to WBT on my Transformers battery-powered AM radio.  First they let my room go dark in the middle of the night, and now they’re playing with my toys?!  Oh hell no.  But then I realized that the light in their room was coming from candlelight. I just stared at Mom, confused.

She looked at me and said, “Hugo hit.”

As a six-year-old, I probably watched more news than most adults do, so I knew that Hurricane Hugo was a massive storm in the Atlantic Ocean and it had been heading for South Carolina.  I understood that it was dangerous and a lot of people were leaving the coast.  What I didn’t know was that after I had gone to bed, the storm drifted much further west than the forecasts had predicted and was still a minimal Category 1 hurricane when it arrived in the Charlotte area.

But even though I knew how dangerous a hurricane was, I guess I was too stupid to be scared.  Whatever, we’re indoors, it’s all good.  I remember Mom picking me up so I could look out the window – only for a minute, because she didn’t want me that close to the windows.  I distinctly recall seeing the biggest pine tree in our backyard blow about 45 degrees to the left, right itself, and then blow about 45 degrees in the other direction.  I’ll never understand how that tree didn’t go down.

Hillary, my sister who was 4 at the time, slept through the whole thing.

With the morning light, it was pretty abundantly clear that our neighborhood was a mess.  A tree from the yard of our neighbors across the street had fallen across the road, completely blocking anyone from leaving for at least a while.  The yard was so saturated with rainfall that my dad kicked up giant splashes with every step he took down toward the road – Hillary and I found that part particularly funny.  Some of our outside toys were never heard from again – that Big Bird scooter probably ended up in a tree somewhere.  But we were lucky – no trees came through our house, and Concord didn’t get hit quite as bad as the rest of the Charlotte area.

Hugo tells WSOC what they can do with their doppler radar.

The power was out at our house for five days.  On the third day after the storm, Mom decided to take Hillary and me up to my grandparents’ house in Spruce Pine to get us back into the 20th century, but the days without power were actually kind of…. fun.  The morning after the storm we had to find some essentials, so we ended up traveling all over Cabarrus County to find open stores.  Kwik-Way Catering, near what is now RCCC on Trinity Church Road, was open and selling bags of ice for the then-outrageous price of $1 per bag.  Cars were lined up around the block to get ice.  One grocery store in town was open – the old Harris Teeter on Highway 601 that is now Troutman’s Barbecue.  I remember laughing as the manager manually opened the sliding doors and handed Dad and me a flashlight as we walked in, and then being amused by the cashier ringing up our purchases with a battery-powered calculator.

At home, we managed to keep ourselves occupied.  We had plenty of company – we were one of the only families on the street with a gas-powered grill, so everyone came over to cook the meat from their now-useless refrigerators.  Internet and cell phones weren’t a thing yet, so the only gadget we were really missing was the TV, but that wasn’t really a big deal.  The news was on round-the-clock in the days after the storm, and if we really wanted to see it we could take our 7″ UHF television outside and power it with the car.  At night when we couldn’t sit outside anymore we read books, played board games as a family (hence the title of this post), and bathed in water heated up by the aforementioned grill – at least we had running water.  And hey, we were out of school for a week!  It may have been an inconvenience, but it really wasn’t that bad.

They say that a hurricane making it so far inland is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, so I’m glad that I got to live through it.  Along with my sister’s birth, it’s at the very top of my childhood memories.

But now that I’m old enough to be scared of an 80 mph wind gust, I hope I never see another one.

The first month

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At any school, the first month of the year comes with a healthy helping of trial and error, adjustments, and learning experiences for teachers and students alike.  At a brand new school, though, those things occur tenfold.

Research Triangle High School opened to students one month ago today.  In that month we’ve made incredible strides in developing our innovative, ambitious educational model.  We’ve had to address rules that we didn’t even consider before (kids still use laser pointers??).  And we’ve hit our share of bumps in the road, but we as a community will be better for it.

Everyone in the building has had a unique experience, so I’m reluctant to speak for the faculty as I’ll sometimes do.  But here are a few of the things that I’ve learned in the past month.

Something I accomplished this month: creating an athletic shield/logo thing.

1) Pump the brakes.  As I’ve previously mentioned, ninety percent of my teaching experience came in American history, with 11th and 12th graders.  I’ll readily admit that in the first couple of weeks, the amount of work I assigned may have been a bit over the top, considering 1) they’re only freshmen and 2) the middle schools from which many of our students came didn’t teach some of these students basic organizational and collaborative skills that are so necessary in our project-based model.  There are plenty of criticisms you could level at Cabarrus County Schools, but the middle schools that fed into Robinson did a phenomenal job of preparing kids for high school.  Oh, and speaking of which…

2) Homework completion is going to be a struggle.  The flipped model is a fantastic educational strategy, but it does rely on a couple of other things happening in order for it to work, one of which is the students watching the videos and doing the work outside of class in order to be able to do the project-based, hands-on work in class.  Too many of our students have never seen homework as a priority and are therefore not following through on their assignments.  It has come to the point that we have been assigning “working lunch” (a nice way of saying “lunch detention”) to students who have fallen too far behind on their work and need some more structured time to get caught up.  I am already seeing dividends.

3) The kids love this school.  I think that early on, this may be the most important thing.  Among many of the students, there is a palpable sense of buy-in to how we’re doing school here.  And for the students that were forced to come here by their parents or have had negative school experiences in the past, many of them are beginning to slowly come around.  There’s a strong sense of community, there is very little cliqueishness, and behavior problems are hardly ever anything major.

The biggest adjustment thus far has been in getting students to utilize some basic skills.  I’m loath to say that content has taken a back seat, because plenty of our students are more advanced and need the challenge, but for many of our students the skills have to come first before they can move on.  I’m proud to work at a place trying to undo some of the damage done by these students’ previous schools.  I’m confident that we have the will and the resources to change the world for some of these kids.

I can’t wait to see what the coming months have in store.

Making the most of student teaching

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Whenever I’ve gone to professional development sessions or workshops, I’ve often wondered what it would be like to present something of my own, but I never really knew what I’d present on.  I think I’m a good teacher, but I don’t think I’m the be-all-end-all either; and until I get the Flipped model down, I don’t think I’m anywhere near ready to start teaching people about that.

But a few weeks ago, I got an email from the UNC Charlotte Teaching Fellows alumni board – they were looking for proposals for presentations at the annual Senior Symposium, a half-day seminar designed to help senior Fellows transition from teacher education to actually going into the classroom.  It’s experiences like those that make me immensely sad that the Teaching Fellows program is dying a slow death at the hands of the North Carolina General Assembly.  Plenty of amazing teachers emerge from college without the Teaching Fellows experience, of course, but Fellows get a comprehensive, singularly unique teacher training experience that virtually guarantees that its graduates will have the cutting-edge skills needed in today’s evolving classrooms.

But I digress.  Anyway, as I perused the email, I noticed that among the suggested presentation topics was “student teaching experiences.”

Bingo.

Laura and me back in 2004. Some cooperating teachers may not want to hang out after hours. Some, however, will go with you to Oktoberfest.

If I do say so myself, I had one hell of a student teaching experience.  I worked with Laura Huffman, a stellar cooperating teacher, branched out and taught other classes too, took on some public address announcing duties, and coached quiz bowl.  And then I got hired at the same school right after graduating – I’d like to think it was because I was such a stellar classroom teacher, but I know that all I did for the school played a significant role.  So while I might not feel comfortable teaching content-related pedagogy and strategies to other teachers, student teaching is my wheelhouse.

My presentation had a simple thesis; student teaching is, in no particular order, an audition and a laboratory.  As another presenter said today, student teaching is also one of the longest job interviews on the planet.  I won’t bore you with every detail of what I said, although you’re more than welcome to download the PowerPoint, but here are a few of my top pointers for anyone getting ready to begin their student teaching experience.

1. Meet everyone.  Depending on how big the school is, this may not be practical to do in the first few weeks, but at the very least, meet three groups of people.  First, meet the administrators and learn what their duties are so you’ll know who to go see for certain scenarios; secondly, make friends with the office staff, because they run the joint; and finally, the custodians and facilities staff, whom you may desperately need if some calamity befalls your classroom.

2. Push to be innovative.  Some cooperating teachers are set in their ways, but most of them would love to see bright young teachers try some new things.  I never had a student teacher at Robinson, but over the years I stole several ideas for lessons and activities that student teachers had tried in other history classes.  And sort of along those lines…

3. Don’t be afraid to fail.  I did a few things in the classroom during student teaching that, looking back, make me cringe.  Some of it pertains to lessons that fell spectacularly flat, but a lot of it was related to classroom management.  Managing a classroom is one of those things that comes naturally to only a select few teachers; the rest of us have to work our asses off at it.  I still struggle mightily with it, and so will nearly every student teacher, but the best path to improving is observing and getting pointers from more experienced educators who have gotten the finer points of it down.  There’s no better learning experience than something that didn’t work, and every student teacher will do something that doesn’t.

4. Branch out.  My most valuable experience during student teaching happened completely by chance.  During my planning period one day, the history department chair/AP U.S. History teacher came into my room in a panic; she had a family emergency and had to leave immediately.  No subs were available, so she asked me if I could cover her APUSH class for the day.  I had been teaching general freshman World History, so I was naturally pretty intimidated at the thought of teaching some of the school’s brightest kids, but at the same time I was always more interested in U.S. history so I accepted the challenge.  In the days after I covered the class, quite a few of the students in the AP class tracked me down to tell me what a great job I did, with a few saying that they wished I taught the class all the time.  After that, I was invited back to teach AP U.S. History several times, and I also assisted with the exam review.  The APUSH teacher then left to join the Principal Fellows program, and I was chosen to replace her.  Without that experience, I don’t think I ever would’ve been hired to teach APUSH.  And the rest, they say, is history.  See what I did there?

5. Make yourself indispensable.  At the end of student teaching, I told the dozen or so attendees to my little session, your end goal should be to make everyone in the school say to themselves, “Man, we’re really gonna miss that person.”  There’s plenty of ways to make sure that happens: volunteering for extra duties like athletic event supervision, helping coach a team or advise a club, chaperone a dance (even though they’re gross), and make your presence known whenever you can.  Student teaching supervisors would probably advise against taking on so much stuff; while the classroom experience and all that goes with it is obviously the most important aspect of student teaching, developing additional school-related skills makes you a much more attractive candidate.  The principal might not be able to hire you, but they’ll give you a damn good reference for another school, and might even try to hire you back later.

Student teaching was one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life, but it was immensely rewarding.  I learned so much, met some great students and colleagues, and found the place where I continued to cultivate my craft for the next five years.  I wouldn’t have traded my experience for anything, and I hope that the Fellows I addressed today will have an experience as rewarding as mine was.

Today’s symposium also gave me a great opportunity to spread the Raptor gospel.  I was pretty popular because I was able to virtually guarantee that we’ll have openings at RTHS next year since we’ll be adding over a hundred new students.  So, I told a couple of them over lunch, they need to go have a great student teaching experience, get molded into awesome young teachers, and then come see us up in the Triangle.

HOMEWORK… Does anyone else have any pointers for student teachers that I may have missed?  Feel free to share ’em in the contents below!

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