You know that incredible feeling of knowing that you’re doing something you were made to do? It’s wonderful. Obviously, we’d never grow or improve without challenges or the overcoming of obstacles, but sometimes it’s nice to get the chance to do something easy and comfortable.
This summer, my church started a summer school program for some of the kids. It targets two different groups: those that struggle in various core subjects and those who are bored in school and need to be pushed. For those that need some extra one-on-one support and practice, we’re offering math, reading, and writing. The advanced class is learning something a little less conventional – coding. The entire program consists of 16 students and 8 teachers that meet three mornings a week.
When this was first being introduced to me, I assumed I’d be teaching one of the classes. I have plenty of experience in all of the areas, so I was just wondering which area would be my expertise. Instead, I was approached with something quite different in mind. My job title for the summer is Teacher Consultant, and I am working directly under the Director. At first I was a little overwhelmed at the thought of critiquing and advising more experienced teachers. But, as I have had the opportunity to get into my position, I realize that it’s one of those things that I was made to do.
It’s not that I am the smartest, most experienced, or most qualified. On the contrary, I have found myself in awe of some of the talent and creativity of the teachers I am working with. However, it’s been so easy to slip into the routine of watching classes and noticing all the little details that are overlooked when you’re in the midst of communicating content. As a teacher, I know the insight that an outsider always is able to share. So, I am able to observe behaviors, strengths, and weaknesses and offer advice, ideas, and encouragement for moving forward. Really, it allows me to combine my passion for teaching and learning with a deep desire to impart vision and help others experience success. It’s so effortless and fun that I almost feel guilty calling it work!
Another awesome part of my job is the opportunity that I have to work with all students in all classes. I love school! So, I get some time in classes and study hall helping with reading, writing, math, and coding. It’s been great to watch these kids I have known for years step up and care so much about something. I have already seen improvement in the core classes, and I have rarely seen as many kids as excited about homework as I do in coding class!