Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Next Step

I was all ready to begin this school year. You know I was. I even showed you my classroom, and by the end of last week I had it all set up: textbooks counted, desks in a row.

And then I got an unexpected phone call on Friday afternoon.

And on Monday I accepted a new position. I will not be teaching this year at Madeira Beach Middle School. And then today I went and packed up my classroom, and said my "goodbyes."

Why would I leave a teaching job I loved this late in the game, just two weeks before classes begin? Because the right opportunity came along at the right time, and I happened to be the right person to answer the call.
I have a path, one that leads outside of the classroom, and this job, this gift, is right on my path.

Our school district, Pinellas County Schools (23rd largest district out of 16,000 in the country) and St. Petersburg College (the college I taught at two years ago) have partnered to create an Early College Program on the Clearwater campus beginning this fall for high school juniors and seniors (full time dual enrollment). I've been invited to be a part of this ground breaking program as the academic advisor and district liaison for these students. What a privilege!

I will be shepherding these high school students through their program and by the end when they graduate they will receive both their high school diploma and their AA degree. My son is in a similar program at another campus, so I know what these students will go through and the support they will need in order to be successful.

They will have to learn to be their own advocates, and I will show them how.

So now my whole plan for this year has changed. I won't be able to show you my classroom, because I don't really have one. I will have to recreate my teacher website and find another way to make a difference. It won't be with 8th graders, but instead juniors and seniors on the edge of their independence.

I will keep you posted as I learn what I need to learn to do what I've been asked to do.