It’s been a few weeks since I wrote my last blog post. It’s not because I didn’t try; I’ve started and restarted one, but I just can’t seem to get it done. When I started blogging, I made it my goal to be positive even when the situation wasn’t what I hoped especially when writing about education.
This is a difficult time for schools and for educators, and I don’t have answers to their concerns. That frustrates me.
Yesterday, I saw this Instagram post from one of our former teachers:
As a principal, I had the honor of hiring many teachers. Kat was a Teach for America teacher, but what separated her from others was that she stayed past her contract. I certainly appreciated her for doing that, and I saw so much growth and confidence from the time she started until she decided to leave to explore other opportunities.
Social media has allowed me to keep in touch with teachers who have left our school. I love seeing the positive impact they are having on others as educators or in other professions. Kat is one of those who has really stretched herself and found a niche as the founder and creative director of Afternoon Culture
, a branding agency based in New York City. Her company creates brands for start-ups and small businesses, focusing on supporting women and businesses owned by minorities. Her agency is doing well, servicing a niche that is often underrepresented.
Back when she was at our school, Kat had the opportunity to be a member of our Leadership Team. I remember her initial hesitation, but I was able to convince her that this would be a great opportunity for her. I remember sitting next to her watching her take notes to share with her grade level. Her notes were a work of art! I was intrigued; she clearly saw issues as interconnected whereas most of us would see things linearly. I am not surprised that she has chosen to follow her passion to help others – especially the underrepresented and non traditional – realize their dreams.
I knew that Kat would not be a teacher forever; she had other dreams, but as she states in her IG post, teaching gave her experiences and opportunities that she continues to use today. More importantly, she gained “the confidence to go after her dreams.” I wish that more young people would commit to teaching for a few years; I think they would learn a lot that could help them in the future. Maybe encouraging young people to teach for a few years in exchange for lowering or cancelling their student debt is an idea worth exploring. It’s time to think out-of-the-box.