Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The mission

Last year, the National Education Association (NEA) released a study that said almost half of new teachers quit within the first five years. As I enter my fifth year of teaching, I am not at all surprised. Teaching is mentally, physically and emotionally taxing and I have been close to quitting many times.

The same thing brings me back from the brink and to the classroom each time: the kids. I love my students. I talk about them constantly, I compare my friends and family to them (which they never ever get tired of, I assure you), and I feel like I have connected with so many of them that I can't imagine doing anything. I am going to go to grad school to study secondary math curriculum, possibly even next year, but the goal is to get back to teaching as soon as possible. I can't imagine a more exciting, challenging and important job as teaching—which brings me back to the mission of this blog.

I want great people to become teachers and stay teachers. This blog aims at young people contemplating their future, mid-career professionals thinking of joining our ranks, young teachers just starting out, and the many veterans who may be close to leaving. I will provide inspiration through my own stories and those of others, share teaching ideas I have used or learned about, and basically try to represent the best parts of our profession.

I also hope to open a window to topics like life in the Rio Grande Valley (the U.S.-Mexico border region in south Texas), Teach for America, alternative schools, and whatever else strikes me as interesting and relevant (as you'd expect from any blog).

I'm working on multiple projects at the moment that this blog will be a part of: a book about my experience teaching through Teach for America and the RGV, and a resource workbook for middle and high school math teachers. I hope to be able to share these with you as time goes on.