Hiawatha Collegiate High School
Why do you teach at Hiawatha Academies?
Hiawatha Academies is a network that I feel puts students at the center of the education experience. The role of school within our students’ lives is not treated as a single entity; instead, the network sees it is as a system of support for students and families as our young scholars learn the academics and skills required to make positive change in the world. I know that on any given day my colleagues and I will challenge each other to ensure that our decisions are focused around the success of our students and families. It takes a courageous team to do something different, and I feel that we are doing that here at Hiawatha Collegiate High School.
What impact do you hope to have on the scholars you teach?
When I think about the impact I hope to make on scholars my mind focuses on developing critical thinkers and effective communicators. Classes change each year, but the ability to reason through a problem and analyze that problem from multiple perspectives is a skill that can be applied across all classes. So when students leave my class at the end of the year, I know that we have succeeded as a learning community when students are questioning each other and actively searching for evidence to support claims that are being made.
What are some of the most challenging things about being a teacher?
I view teaching as a skill and like any skill it can constantly be developed and improved; this is also what makes teaching so challenging. Long hours are spent planning lessons, and when it comes time to put the plan into practice, I will almost always find things that I want to change for the next time. So I always tell people that teaching takes as much time as you allow. I dedicate a good chunk of my personal time to improving my teaching skills, but I also have a rigorous relaxation schedule as well. Sitting still is not something I do well, so my idea of relaxing involves hiking, biking, soccer, fishing, and really any kind of outdoor activity.
Why would you recommend teaching at Hiawatha Academies?
I always tell my teaching friends: if you want to work at a school with a great staff culture, that holds students to the highest expectations, and values character as much as academics, then come work at Hiawatha Collegiate High School.