My name is Richard C., and I believe that aside from an affinity towards pedagogy and a fondness of helping children, an educator should possess a deeply ingrained love for their subject-matter. I transitioned from humble high school beginnings in journalism to a degree in Literature from Salisbury University, this lead to jobs as an SAT Prep instructor and English Teacher at an academy for students seeking extra help. Said stops on my journey laid invaluable foundations, both spawning a love for teaching as well as on the job training for strategies associated with standardized testing: an undeniable part of today’s educational landscape.
After gleaning what I could from my previous training, I decided to return to school to pursue a career in teaching. While in school, I sought employment as a substitute teacher. I felt lucky to have practical classroom application of what I was learning from my professors on a daily basis (before I even began the internship phase of my MAT cohort). By the time the latest leg of my quest was over, I had a 4.0 GPA in graduate school and a Master’s in the Arts of Teaching.
I spent my first year as an English teacher at Wicomico High School, experiencing a crash course in the realities faced by today’s educator. However, I couldn’t have asked for better circumstances. Despite being a first year teacher faced with preparing 10th grade learners for the HSA that very same year, I was blessed with the most outstanding staff on every level and with a group of students that would give you effort in accordance to what they perceived to be your own. My first year teaching was a resounding success on every level. We fought, we persevered, and we excelled together. I was praised for classroom management, delivering my content in an innovative fashion while demonstrating evidence of scaffolding, and most importantly for cultivating a positive, support-laden classroom environment.
In 2012-2013, I built upon invaluable experience while teaching 10th and 11th grade English at Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore, Maryland. Curley is a college-preparatory school that offers three separate programs/interdisciplinary tracts for students: Franciscan, Cupertino, and Anthony. The Franciscan program packs an accelerated “scholar” curriculum, the Cupertino program targets grade level content, and the Anthony program caters to students at-risk for academic difficulties (whether they stem from learning or socio-emotional complications). As a teacher at Curley, I was one of the few members of the staff that had the privilege of teaching courses in all three levels this school year. Said opportunity forced me to grow tremendously as an educator in that all of these students, regardless of perceived ability level, need to garner a similar skill-set to find success any facet of my content area. Consequently, becoming truly well-versed in all things differentiated instruction and carefully tending to accommodations was a concrete prerequisite for my daily job description.
I gave Curley plenty of notice when I announced my resignation as I thought personal family circumstances would require a move to New York. I not only provided the school with ample time to find a replacement but assisted in finding the individual that would ultimately replace me (he is an old friend and former colleague from Wicomico High School who coincidentally enough, is also a Curley alum). Later in the school year, the aforementioned critical family issue was resolved, allowing me to remain in Maryland.
This past school year I began at the New Hope Academy in Baltimore city. At New Hope I taught History, grades 10-12. I enjoyed my experience there, particularly the fact that I was expected to manage an IEP caseload for the first time. Teaching a new subject area, in an environment that catered to emotionally disabled students (many of whom suffered from learning disabilities as well and required frequent one on one attention) truly tested my resilience and versatility as a professional. I left New Hope after the second marking period however, taking the opportunity to return to the content area that I believe I was made to teach.
Since January, I've been teaching 9th grade English at REACH! Partnership in Baltimore city. While I enjoy my current post, my ultimate goal is to find suitable summer employment. Accordingly, continuing to do what I enjoy most makes the utmost sense to me. I hope to hear from you.
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