Learner. Educator: New Job/New Lessons


Because this blog often reflects my day job, I thought it might be important to update my change of employment.  For the past five years, I’ve worked as a teacher, and grown as an educator, a professional, and an, overall, human being because of my work in the classroom. I learned valuable lessons from fellow educators, from students, and from my students’ families. For multiple reasons, however, I felt it was time for me to move forward by taking a break from the classroom. After three months in my new position, I’m relieved to say there are no regrets.

My official title is Director of School Culture/ Vice Principal (long story for my long title), and I now work at an elementary school in Richmond, which is about 20 minutes from Oakland. My role allows for me to wear multiple hats (but what person in education doesn’t?) When students have behavioral challenges that can’t be handled in the classroom, I’m called. I’m in charge of dishing out the consequences, but, more importantly, I’m also responsible for creating preventive measures for disruptive behavior. Some of the ways I’ve done this so far is implementing a school wide incentive program, supporting classes with implementing conflict/resolution strategies for students, and what’s close to my heart is hosting a girls group for girls who are struggling with social relationships. I also support with ensuring that our attendance numbers maintain high percentages, and facilitate parent leadership within the school.

Another hat I wear is supporting efforts to ensure that our students receive an education that is culturally relevant to their experiences. This may be one of the more challenging roles in this position, because discussing race/ culturally relevant teaching and cross-cultural relationships is challenging. It’s sticky and confrontational. But, when done correctly, it can shift the way we approach lesson design, as well as academic results. I’m trying to figure out how to do this effectively so that my teachers’ hearts are listening and motivating shifts in teaching practices.

On this blog, posts that used to reflect my experience as a teacher, will now reflect my new role as a school administrator. I’ve been in this position for only three months, but I’ve had many questions that I’d like to explore and track on this blog:

What is effective discipline? How do I facilitate culturally responsive practices with a school wide lens? How do I support teachers in their own practice with culturally responsive teaching practices? How do I facilitate tough, but productive conversations? What does strong school leadership look like? I’ve taught in a traditional classroom for five years, which is solid, but not extensive. How do I stay relevant as an educator and leader, while being out of the classroom?

Whether you’re an educator, or not, I hope I can engage you as a reader, and if you’re willing, even seek out your thoughts as I explore education from a new lens. In between education posts, I’ll continue to post about race and pop culture, art, travel, music videos, etc…