When I Was Huge in Teaching

teaching_2007I use that adjective with my tongue firmly in my cheek. On a physical level I’m 5’8″ 170 lbs. I don’t think huge is quite the word to describe my countenance. On a professional level, I’m happy to see growth in my students each year. There are no bestselling books on my resume. The point is, I felt huge one day in teaching. Have you ever done something you were so proud of it felt like walking on clouds? That’s what this day was for me. I’ve never been famous either. Maybe that’s a blessing in disguise. Nonetheless, on one fateful day several years ago I was asked by my Principal to do an EDI lesson for some noteworthy and unmistakeably “huge” guests. That’s not ironic because as you will see in the other photo, O’Connell and Herb are both about 6’4″. They are hulking guys. This picture is me teaching a lesson to my class for a Daily Press reporter, the Adelanto School Board, many Principals in the district, the Superintendent of San Bernardino County Herb Fischer, and the Secretary of Education for the State of California, Jack O’Connell. It was standing room only!

With_SupesI am after all a school teacher and as a result, I work to increase my students scores on the California Standards Test every year. This was like meeting the President for me. Countless times since I started teaching I went to the CDE.ca.gov website to get info and saw the Superintendent of Instruction, Jack O’Connell, on the front page.

My Principal told me O’Connell had come down from Sacramento to visit our school on a small tour. He wanted to see EDI which is a style of teaching we had started doing and that I am a certified coach for. I’ve written about it all over this blog so if you’re interested in free tips, just do a simple search. He came into my classroom and watched a lesson along with the local paper and all the Principals in the district. I got to meet him and as we talked we discovered we both went to the same college, California State University, Fullerton. Wow. It was truly a huge moment for me and I will never forget how it felt being recognized that way. It was like, “We see you and you are doing well!” I think my 4th grade students were curious who all these people were in suits and fancy attire. When they all left waving, there was quite an afterglow that remains to this day. Have you ever felt huge in teaching? Tell us about it in the comments or better yet, write a post and leave a pingback. It will show up in the comments. Now go teach with vision!

Author: Damien Riley

Having been a public school teacher since 1997, I've gained valuable classroom experience. Sometimes a great tool is a dynamite lesson plan. These posts are from a real teaching journey. I hope they inspire you. Thanks for reading!

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