As a proud first-grade teacher at the American International School West Campus in Cairo, Egypt,I am seeking my next challenge abroad after working for 17 years in the Dallas/Fort Worth public school system.
My journey started after I graduated from college, married Ann, and moved to Texas.
One would think that the most challenging aspect about beginning a teaching career is to move to a new country. No, in fact it is to teach in a special education class. What followed were three very challenging years however that didn’t stop me from becoming a seasoned teacher as I continued to improve my skills teaching math in fifth grade. Seven years of crunching numbers at Colin Powell Elementary, I decided to share my artistic talent with the world and I started a video production company.
However, it became evident that the majority of movie magic and my creative talent were wasted on inane infomercials. I found myself longing for a more meaningful influence on future generations. So, I returned to education.
After maintaining a steady career in fifth grade over the years, I felt my teaching groove was just right when a disaster struck. My lifelong fear of teaching little six-year-olds became a reality. My school assigned me to teach first grade. I contemplated resigning from the school, leaving the district, and even quitting teaching altogether. Thankfully, summer break provided a moment of clarity. While browsing the prescribed first grade library among the CAFE’s and DAILY FIVE’s, I spotted “Mindset” by Carol Dweck. This tiny book profoundly changed my attitude and I realized that with a different mindset I could approach my new assignment as a personal challenge to become a better teacher.
Almost immediately I discovered that lesson planning and preparing a one-day lesson for six-year-olds was time consuming, detail -oriented, and stressful. Keeping “Mindset” in mind, I accepted the challenge. Now, I have 8 years of first grade teaching behind me with strong organizational skills, classroom management, and the most rewarding teaching experiences to date.
My search continues for new and exciting experiences because I believe that with the right mind-set, even the most pressing challenges will carve me into a better, prouder teacher.