“As happens with many teachers, my first few years in the classroom were spent furiously developing my craft. By my fifth year, thanks to coaching and opportunities to observe excellent colleagues, my classroom had come to be a source of pride for me and my students. Each of my adolescent scientists could generate unique, testable hypotheses, and their eager experimenting led to masterful explanations of subjects from electricity to the rock cycle. That year, my students flipped the achievement gap: A higher percentage of my predominantly low-income, minority students scored proficient on the state science exam than in the average Massachusetts school.
But I sat down in class one day, amidst my engaged fifth-graders, and thought, “Is this all there is to teaching?” As the daughter of two elementary-school teachers, I learned about the profession early. Early in my career, I assumed the job description would remain static. Though I’d seen several of my own fantastic teachers remain engaged in their careers by continuously improving their teaching practices, my goals were different. Developing one specific skill-set didn’t feel like enough to sustain me throughout my career. I adored my students and the daily work, but needed new challenges. I began to research other jobs.”
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