In August of 2014, I left Oscar de La Hoya Animo Charter Schools and moved on to Hawthorne High School, within the Centinela Valle High School District.
The move was very necessary for me. For one, I was a new mom and the commute was brutal; as in it took far too long to travel to and from work. But most importantly, I was having a hard time with the idea of being so far away from my newborn daughter.
Another factor was the direction GreenDot Charter Schools were headed. When I signed on to GreenDot, I whole-heartedly believed in their mission and values. GreenDot was about the "unwavering belief" in students as we prepared them for "college leadership, and life" with the understanding that there was no such thing as a one-size fits all approach to education in an urban setting - or any for that matter. By the time I had made my choice to leave, it felt as though the district was looking for a way to package "what works" and sale it to failing districts across the country. It began to trickle down and affect our classrooms. This was not what I had signed up for.
What I miss most about ODLHA are my colleagues. I have never been in an environment where the teachers were so united - even now. There was a true camaraderie among the staff at ODLHA and I do really miss that.
Here, I plan tracking my first-year experiences as a teacher and a new mother.