Hooooola! I am so excited to start on this educational journey with the other EduTryGuys. These men are some of my best friends, biggest supporters, and they deal with all the ridiculous things that I have to talk to them about. I initially met some of these guys when I did my student teaching, but then I graduated and needed to find a job. I worked in a small rural school in northwest Ohio, and it was great! I was teaching Spanish, teaching culture, opening the minds of students. Essentially, though, I had moved there for the job and knew no one. I missed the community that I grew up in, and missed my friends. After two years at my first job, there was a job opportunity at the school where I did my student teaching! My mentor teacher had called me to tell me, and later that week I had my interview and got hired! I was so excited to not only be back in my home community, but I was excited about having some of my best friends be in the same building as me not just as friends, but as colleagues.
Moving back, though, I got a lot more than I was expecting. I got a support system that I didn't even know that I needed. Jason, who I had known for a few years already, finished his MAT and transformed into one of the most passionate, straight shooting educators that I know. Marc continued to be great, and having one of my best friends from undergrad around, with the same prep period, made work so much fun. It took me a while to get to know Jay, Brian, and Jeremy, but through time I grew to really respect their opinions and ideas on education. Jay is a hot-off-the press teacher, beginning his teaching career just a year after me; Brian KNOWS his content, and shows his passion for his content and education; Jeremy has recently taken on a new job and is excelling at it! He has been super helpful as our school has transitioned to a 1:1 school system. We all often joke about how many PD hours we could log if we counted all the hours that we talk about education (hint: it'd be a LOT).
It's not just these guys that have changed my teaching, but also some lovely language teachers from all over the world. There are two groups specifically that helped me start to move towards a happier, more result filled existence as a teacher. A comprehensible input (CI) group from Columbus, Ohio, and the CI group that I help run in Indianapolis. I am so grateful every single time that I talk to people from either of those groups. Of course, it's partially because we share the same ideas, but we also challenge each other.
The same is true with the EduTryGuys. We mostly share the same ideas, but more than anything we challenge each other. We make each other think, we make each other reflect on our own ideas and practices, and we're upfront with each other about goals and expectations. And of course we support each other when we do fail, and help each other learn from those failures.
As educators we get to choose who we learn from and grow with. As Rita Pierson says "Kids don't learn from people they don't like". Same goes for educators, and thankfully I love these guys and the lessons they give me.