AP and IB Economics and Financial Literacy
Springstead High School
I felt three inches tall as I walked into the Teacher of the Year Roundtable in July and kept asking myself, “What am I doing here?” I was blown away by the abilities and accomplishments of the superhuman teachers in my cohort. I may have been the Hernando County Teacher of the Year, but felt unsure as to why I had been chosen. I decided I had two choices at that point, slink back to my hole feeling inadequate or accept the challenge to rise up and continue to improve!
The Florida Teacher LEAD Network (FTLN) gave me the chance to challenge my thought process, further engage my school/district community beyond the four walls of my classroom, and use my skillset to positively influence the education of as many students as possible. I took on a first year teacher as a mentee and helped coach him to some of the highest US History EOC scores in the county, blowing the state and county average out of the water.
The best part of the process was that in discussing his instructional strategies and classroom procedures, it forced me to think more critically about my own. I was so much more in-tune with my “why” I did things and reflective about my effectiveness.
FTLN helped take my success to new levels, and I am a better teacher leader because I was open to accepting the challenge. I now have a tremendous group of educators to learn from around the state. This experience ignited a passion for coaching in me and it’s something I am pursuing further in my own district. I am trying to take the model I learned in FTLN and the districts using similar programs around the state to remake our induction program into a differentiated system of mentoring for our new teachers in Hernando County with their support!