Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart. - Rumi
In my twelve years of schooling, I attended ten different schools. It would be easy to assume I welcomed change, when in reality; I loathed it. It wasn't until I landed in grade 8 and connected with a group of students and one special teacher that I found purpose and community. This sense of belonging has been my guide throughout my life. As a teacher, I see how connections and relationships between educators and students are the most influential ties within a school.
My teaching first took me to Costa Rica where I immersed myself into the culture and became a true second language leaner. The community took me and and helped me experience what students so often endure the slow process of language acquisition. Upon my return to the U.S. I was able to apply these lessons with my students in California. Over six years with middle school students, I built meaningful relationships with families in a predominantly immigrant community. Perhaps my greatest mission while in California was to create an Environmental Club to expose the children to our local Santa Rosa Mountains, and Joshua Tree National Park. Students learned to identify local flora, watch the desert seasons change, and after six years, I sought new soil where I could grow.
The opportunity to work at the American Collegiate Institute in Izmir, Turkey changed my life in so many ways, and challenged my notions of belonging. The Turkish community brought me into the fold and encouraged me in the face of challenges to find my place. The students were warm, welcoming, and a key to unlocking my understanding of their unique culture. Reflecting back, Turkey taught me a great deal about what it meant to be a stranger in Islam, and yet ultimately I moved on, wanting to set down roots and connect with my school community in ways that were not possible at ACI.
That past three years in South Korea have challenged me as a teacher and renewed my love of teaching many times over. At Chadwick I am able to combine my skills of working with English Language Leaners and my passion for the outdoors! I enjoy working with like-minded colleagues who share my passion for educating the whole student, and the IB program has given me new insight into how I can best construct my teaching. As our school grows, I look forward to continued collaboration for how we can best meet the needs of our students.