I have now almost completed my first month at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, in Bethesda Maryland. I must report that I could not be happier with my new work environment. It has been a big change for me, coming to this new school. It is a world away from my public, alternative, charter school in Philadelphia. My new school is private, it is a religious school, and we have not just high school, but Infant and toddler daycare, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school as well. My old school was a public, alternative, charter school in North Philadelphia for students that were behind on high school credits for their age and usually returning for their second or third chance at a high school diploma, ranging in age from 16-22. So there are some big changes.
However, this small, private, religious environment is not totally new to me. I also grew up in the Bethesda, Maryland area, where I also attended a small, private, religious school. Mine was a Quaker high school that closed down in 2008, and my current school is Catholic, but there are many, many more similarities in the two schools philosophy than there are differences. One example is the focus on community service, or “social action” as they call it here at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. I am a huge fan of any school that chooses to encourage and focus on community service, because of my amazing personal experiences with it in high school.
In fact, if it hadn’t been for my community service days during high school, I would never have known that I wanted to become a teacher. (If I haven’t mentioned this already I have wanted to teach art since 11th grade.) During my time in high school I went to my old elementary school, and helped my elementary art teacher, who was still working there, (and is still working there now!) and helped her execute art lessons, manage supplies, and generate enthusiasm in her art classroom. This was an amazing experience that has shaped my entire life. I am extremely thrilled that I will now be chaperoning three 11th grade Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart girls in their “social action” at a Washington DC, public elementary school , where they will be tutoring young children in reading. I am so excited to be a part of what I hope, and their school hopes, will be a life changing experience for them.
On top of all of this wonderfulness, my new classroom rocks, too.