In less than half an hour, I'll find myself in an online interview for contract work with a startup in Boston. Zinkerz, the company with whom I'm interviewing, develops educational apps and seeks to capitalize on gamification. If hired I'd work on content for an AP English app.
That I have this interview this morning is something I could never have foreseen when I began teaching in 1981. Such is the nature of self-reinvention.
How we teachers reinvent ourselves defines the way I view longevity in teaching and reflects the name I chose for this blog.
In mid May, I had a plan for this summer: Join Teachers Write, work on the professional book(s) I've outlined the past few years, write an article about using children's picture books to teach seniors research, go on vacation with family, read and read some more, do home improvement projects, including purging my closet and home office of stuff.
But my professional life took a sharp turn a week before school ended, so my plans changed. I'm still going on vacation with family, but I'm also preparing to teach AP English Literature and Composition next fall and attending an AP workshop in San Diego later this month. If all goes well in my interview, I may find myself on yet another new educational venture.
Who would have thunk? Certainly not I.
Professionally, I've had to reinvent myself many times to sustain a career that has lasted over thirty years. I spent over a decade in an education desert, metaphorically speaking. During that time, I never knew when I'd feel bludgeoned yet again by a bad boss. I worked hard to persevere, to overcome, to reinvent myself during that time. I applied to state and national programs that accepted me and validated both my professional and personal self. Of course, the Folger Shakespeare Library, as I've often written, is the most important among these. I earned NBPTS certification, I earned a MA degree.
Opportunities to reinvent myself fed my soul with mana, the collegiality and validation necessary for teachers.
I just finished my interview with Sam and Eden at Zinkerz. Now I wait. Regardless of the outcome, I'm using this opportunity to think about gaming and learning in my classroom and the ways I can continue reinventing myself and the ways I guide student learning.
I am, after all, a work in progress, and from time to time I need to shed the old teacher skin to make way for the new.