Dr. Maryrose Caulfield here. Thank you for joining me on my inaugural post for Yours in Learning – a place where I hope you will find inspiration and support for your educational journey, no matter where you find yourself in your career.
I taught my first lesson in a classroom in 1966 when I was 13 years old. My father was a teacher and administrator and I would often come to work in his classroom. I can remember this like it was yesterday – an art and history lesson about the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria – and can see the configuration of the room as clearly now as it existed that day so long ago. Education was the family business, and from that moment, I was hooked. Making connections with kids was my favorite part, and even though I progressed through the ranks of administration and ultimately became a school superintendent, I have come to realize that my heart and practice was always tethered to those connections.
It has been a long journey, and I have seen both the world and state of education change greatly. There is now immense pressure on teachers from assessments and evaluations. Additionally, the culture of school is unique in that teachers are primarily isolated in their classroom for the greatest part of their day – a lonely and disorienting setting in the face of so much accountability.
My mission has always been to work with educators to expand their ability to foster deep, meaningful learning for students – and to help them feel supported. Within each school there is a wide range of teacher experience and background – everyone’s perspective is different. In The Human Side of School Change, Robert Evans, a former teacher turned psychologist, went so far as to poignantly and insightfully describe the myriad personality possibilities of “school.” I came to truly understand this as I moved from experience to experience, realizing both success and failure as I worked. Sometimes “culture” is just so ingrained that it fosters a real “personality” conflict. On the other hand, these factors, when positive, can inform our journey to empower students with the skills and knowledge they need to become successful in a world yet to be imagined.
Over the years, I myself have had to become a learner rooted in the Twenty-First Century. Consequently, the internet has become a platform for me to share the resources and wisdom I have learned along the way with those who endeavor to positively affect the lives of children. As we face this “brave new world” together, I will provide new and varied ideas, skills, and research that may assist you in your own journey. I welcome you to share in whatever wisdom I may provide, and wish you happiness, success, and fulfillment.