This year, I am celebrating a quarter-century in education. I began as a part-time English and Latin teacher straight out of school, and have spent my entire career at Milton High School. Since that first chaotic year, I have had the opportunity to teach English to every grade and every level from what we used to call “Basic” (what would now be “Language-Based” though I wasn’t trained for that) to Advanced Placement. I have also taught a number of electives, including Creative Writing, Journalism, and Public Speaking. Most often, I have taught ninth and twelfth grade, which has been lots of fun. This year, though, I’m teaching two tenth-grade College Prep courses, as well as Public Speaking and Creative Writing.
Along the way, I have acquired a number of leadership roles. Early on, I became a union rep for my building, and now I am the Secretary of our local. But my real passion is working with new teachers. Because so many colleagues went out of their way to help me through my first couple of years, I have always tried to “pay it back.” I have worked with at least ten student teachers in full-semester practicum and pre-practicum situations. I became involved in my district’s Mentoring program in 1999, before the Commonwealth required us to offer one, and mentored about half a dozen novices before becoming a Mentoring Leader, a role I have held for more than ten years now. Recently, I have been working with my Mentoring Leader colleagues to revamp the program in Milton. We have been expanding and professionalizing our training through the Mentoring in Action curriculum and by offering a more diverse portfolio of mentoring pathways to accommodate both new teachers and those who have come to us from other districts.