“People keep asking if I’m back, and I haven’t really had an answer…but now, yeah, I’m thinkin’ I’m back!” – John Wick
I’ve spent the last four years away from teaching. I left my role as a principal in order to help that school move on while taking on a new role as the Director of Education for a Neuro-EdTech startup company. During that time I learned a great deal and I helped produce one of the most dynamic apps in existence to help 3rd-grade students learn mathematics. It was an exciting time and one that I look back upon fondly. However, there was always a voice in the back of my head that kept calling me to return to the classroom. Working for an EdTech company is great, but it does not produce the same rewards as teaching actual students in the classroom. Just about every year that went by, I would apply for teaching jobs. I received a lot of letters that basically said there are a lot of qualified candidates and we didn’t select you. Every year, like clockwork, I would apply and I would get the same letter. That is … until last year.
Last year I was fortunate enough to have fate and the divine plan come into motion. I’ve always prayed that God puts me where I am needed and when I am needed and realized that it is my job to listen and be ready when that call comes. Through my many years in education, I have formed some great connections with other educators and thought leaders. I kept myself in contact with the community and remained relevant through interacting on Twitter. It was there that an offhand comment I made sparked the interest of my current principal. I’m sure he read my tweets, my blog, etc. and liked what he saw so an interview was arranged and I was fortunate enough to be hired for his school.
I am glad that I didn’t listen to the naysayers. I had one superintendent tell me that I shouldn’t blog/tweet/post about the things that affect me (and indeed many people) in education. He went so far as to contact my former colleagues and to tell them that I needed to stop. I shudder to think that there are many who would have. I am not one to be silent. I have a voice and an opinion and if people don’t like what I write, or attribute it to being about them… well… maybe they should take a look at themselves. It seems that being authentic is something of little value to people like this (this is the same person who told me that I didn’t look like a principal). Wow. I just said, “thank you”. I strive to be authentic. A fully functioning human being with all my faults and successes. Because I didn’t listen to the ill-gotten advice to not share my experiences, I was able to be found. I am grateful.
I took some time (over a year) away from my blog. Not because of his advice, but because I was coming back into the realm of teaching once more. My first year back in a school in four years. My first year back in a teaching role in over 8 years. I needed time to focus on what I was doing, making sure it was done right, and working to ensure that students were always my number one priority. One thing I have always received as a commendation is that I have an extremely student-centered classroom. I needed to focus on that and I succeeded in helping students learn.
Now that a year of teaching is under my belt, I felt it was time to once more pick up the torch and begin running. Its time to illuminate the great things that other teachers are doing as well as to shine a light on some of the darker corners that need addressing. I am unapologetic for bringing forth the truth. I will not hide in shame or in fear of what others think about me because the truth is all that matters.
This iteration of Revogogy is going to be a bit different. This time around I am looking to add the voices of other educators. I am looking to have guest blog posters and authors. I consider this Revogoy 2.0. The website has been completely rebuilt and it’s ready to take on the challenges of the new year. I look forward to this journey and I hope you’ll stop in from time to time to see how things are going. The one thing I can promise you is that I will ALWAYS be authentic. If someone wants my voice silenced, it must mean I’m doing something right. So to all of you out there who have ever felt pressured to remain silent, not rock the boat, just go along with a defunct system… please… pick up your laptops, your tablets, your pen, and paper… let your voice be heard. Join the revolution and let’s make teaching children what it should be in this current century.
People keep asking if I’m back… it’s taken me a year to really feel it… but, yeah, I’m thinking I’m back!
Have any of you ever been pressured like this because of your blog posts or social media? If so please share your experience with us in the comments. And keep up the good fight!