Sunday, September 7, 2014

Year 12 is under way. And it's looking great...

Tomorrow may be the first Monday of my 12th year as a teacher, but last week's four days mark a number of new beginnings. It's year twelve. It's a new school. It's a new district. It's a new town. And I'm more excited than ever.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I've left the NYCDOE after eleven great years. The NYCDOE was great. Had its ups and downs, as does any teaching career, but on the whole I wouldn't have wanted the last eleven years to go any differently. I had a vast array of experiences, learned every year, and became the person and educator I am today because of those years.

And now the new adventure. The first week in Scarsdale has been a big transition for me. Aside from the commute (now thirty miles each way after years of only two miles), the sheer size of the district is the biggest difference. There are five elementary schools in the district. Yes, five. F-I-V-E five. Coming from a district with literally hundreds of elementary schools, more than five within a two mile radius, this has been a big adjustment.

I've only been in my new job for four days but it has been a great four days. Working in a small district, devoid of the bureaucracy the sheer size of a place like New York City breeds, is amazing. I keep thinking of the Morgan Freeman line in Shawshank Redemption
These walls are funny. First you hate 'em, then you get used to 'em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them. That's institutionalized.
I'm now working outside the walls of the behemoth that is the NYCDOE. A small district is in many ways the same as a large one. There are students, parents, curriculum, standards, and expectations. The difference is how the wheels turn, how the system functions. And it's very different. After eleven years in the NYCDOE I feel like I've been institutionalized. After four days in Scarsdale I see how a system can work with less bureaucracy, and more trees...

Making this move was a great idea. I am so excited to get back to work, something I recently realized I've haven't been in a long time.

It's not a hayfield in Buxton, but a computer lab in the woods...

the view from my new lab


  1. Very excited to have you and your experience at Heathcote!
    Helen - one of the many moms.

    1. Thanks, Helen. I'm very excited to be here too, looking forward to a great year.