Teaching in a Bubble

IB PYP ESL Elementary Educational Blog

A Little About Myself:

It’s always good to share little tidbits about ourselves to find our commonalities and what binds us together. I am an avid believer that learning NEVER stops (or should anyway). Thus I consider myself a life-long learner. My path has never been the “straight and narrow”!

I always seem to find the path that meanders and is less traveled (ode to Robert Frost). Have you ever been “tugged or nagged” by a strong force that was so convincing that you promised yourself that you’d attend to it…….eventually? I’d always felt compelled to teach. I supplicated my conscience by promising that at the end of my carrer that I’d “give back to my community” by going back to teach or volunteer in some capacity. Little did I realize that the universe had different plans for me (Ha!). Thus began my journey and my story:

I began my path with a bachelor of science in sports medicine. Due to the high volume of graduates I had to wait SEVERAL YEARS to complete my observation hours required to take my boards. I was baffled and beside myself. My degree program at my university was “housed” under the college of education; so I’d been forced to take some ed classes along the way. I’d also been required to student teach and the like. I found myself teaching a multi-age HEADSTART class for two years while I was waiting on that phone call to V O L U N T E E R & obtain my hours. I was suddenly mandated to earn an early childhood degree per the program. (Thankfully, they footed the bill). I earned my associate’s of early childhood in less than a year. (YEY!) Still not able to volunteer, I got a wild hair to move to Texas.after.cometing.my 2nd year.

I literally enrolled and took alternative certification classes over the summer. By summer’s end (and I mean that literally), I had procured a pre-k teaching position in an urban Houston district….at a title 1 school. I can’t tell you how challenging those first few years were, but I can promise you that those early experiences help mold me-personally & professionally and  they profoundly changed my life.

I have had the privledge to touch so many student’s, their families and other stakeholder’s lives. I’ve had the opportunity to make an impact when and where it was needed most in the lives of my students. I have been able to “open a door” and become a testimony to other students who found themselves in my shoes or in similar positions. I have been able to testify that if I can make it despite all of the personal challenges that I faced then they too could persevere and find their path as well-despite how others measured them or what they predicted of them. It has blessed me more that words can convey. Teaching at this campus and in this district afforded me the opportunity to work on my instructional foundations and my teaching philosophy. This district molded me into the statistician, and differentiation beast that I am today. Honestly, with the kindness of hindsight-they offered me the best inservices available in the region. And due to the district’s unyeilding high standards, they gifted me with the unwavering belief that all students can succeed, no matter what circumstances which they face. It’s just a matter of teamwork, diligence upon the instructor and the willingness to ask for help and seek feedback on my instructional practices. Thank you Theresa Adame as well for all of your support and nurturing.

I began a master’s program for educational leadership that is still pending. I have but a few hours left to obtain it, and it’s on a to-do list currently. I believe that administrators have the profound ability to alter student’s lives, but I began to realize that with great power comes great responsibility. Although I wish to impact my student’s lives, I would also be charged with micro-managing adults…..not really what I signed up for.

I then stumbled across another unique opportunity to teach in a totally radical program that afforded me a pedagogial mindshift. I accepted a position at an IB PYP campus teaching kindergarteners. Through the IB philosophy and framework, I re-invigorated my passion for teaching and discovered the power of inquiry. Though I realize that there is no one “program” that is a cookie-cutter recipe for the crisis in education, I am a firm supporter of what IB can yeild through their principles.

Currently, I am on sabattical taking on a new venture to focus on more entrepenurial goals and seeking to cross paths with other like-minded individuals. I have 14 years on instruction under my belt and I plan to add more years and retire in education. But sometimes it also good to take a step back and gain a little perspective. I can’t express how much I miss my students or the process of educating them currently. This is affirmation that I am “called” to teach and reach others. I have long known that teaching is my passion, but I now realize that I have the ability and perhaps the obligation to reach others beyond my usual scope of influence. Thus, I will take on the adventure of blogging and I look forward to new chapters and new friends.

Aside from education, I am the mother to an amazing little boy whom I adore. I enjoy hanging out with my son engaging in his hobbies, interacting with other educators across multiple platforms daily, creating engaging curriculum, running, working out, the amazing food of my culture and good company, hanging out at my batcave aka home and web surfing & researching. I am always looking to improve myself daily.

 

Cleo

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