Friday, August 23, 2013

Ready or not...

After spending a long, exciting day on the other side of the mountains in Everett, Washington, advocating for a charter school in Sunnyside, this is what greeted me when I came home (along with my five energetic children): our shipment of materials to begin our new school year.  Apparently Luke can't wait to dig in!  

I look forward to our second year of blended learning, and am so grateful for the public resources available that make this possible.  Taking advantage of an Alternative Learning Experience made available through the Richland School District Three Rivers Homelink, we receive curriculum from k12.com so that I can teach my 3rd, 5th, and 7th grade sons math, language arts, science, and history.  We will go to Richland every Tuesday where the boys will spend the day taking workshop classes such as Lego Robotics, Drama, Photography, Sculpture Extravaganza, STEM and Science Chef and where they will meet with their certificated teachers to report on the progress we are making at home.

My daughter will begin kindergarten here in Sunnyside at Sun Valley Elementary where my 3rd grader attended a few years ago, and where we know several of the incredibly talented and kind teachers and administrators.  My 7th grade son will be taking orchestra and STEM and playing football at Sierra Vista Middle School where we have been equally impressed by many of the teachers and staff.

Studying exercise physiology 15 years ago and splitting my time between the science and P.E. departments (with a minor in Italian to round out my education with some arts), I walked past the School of Education building nearly every day, and never gave a second thought to studying education.  Never would I have imagined how passionately I would feel about teaching children.  A year ago when I ventured into the world of online education and, dare I say it, "homeschooling" my children, I didn't realize that along with the opportunity of teaching my children firsthand, I would also be preparing myself to better understand the inner workings of the education system.  As much as I would love to now, I don't have the time to get a degree in education in order to benefit my own kids in the midst of their elementary and secondary educations.  But as I am taking this "crash course" in teaching, I believe now more than ever in the collaborative relationship between educators and families that is critical to student success.

I look forward to this year of learning with my kids, but I also look forward to the creation of a charter school in Sunnyside.  I look forward to collaborating with educators to help achieve academic excellence not only for my kids, but for many other Sunnyside kids as well.

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