I began my international teaching career in Chile, at Nido de Aguilas. I arrived at Nido as an elementary school counselor. While experiencing immersion into a new school culture, a new country and culture, and a new job I found myself helping students, parents, and new staff members settle in to many of the same things I was trying to figure out. In a sense, it was very meta and things that are very meta suit me, because I really like thinking about thinking. My role eventually changed from school counselor to literacy specialist as our elementary staff grappled with designing and implementing an authentic reading and writing curricula for our students that embedded social emotional learning strategies, like developing student agency and building empathy for others through reading and writing. It was the perfect fit for me at the time because of my diverse educational background in educational psychology, instructional design, and literacy.
After 4 years of working at Nido I knew I was ready for my next opportunity to grow in my professional practice which was becoming an instructional leader. I went to High Tech High's graduate school of education where I earned my school leadership degree and completed a 10-month leadership residency. This experience completely transformed my practice. It shook up my beliefs, challenged me, allowed me a safe and supportive environment to take risks, and solidified a lot of ideas I grappled with around what it truly means to collaborate, to give and receive feedback, and to support and facilitate teaching and learning for both adults and students.
I recently had the opportunity to return to Nido de Aguilas in a 1-year interim position in their new division: the Early Years School, as the Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning. It seemed fitting to have this new beginning as an instructional leader (in my first international school) working with young children (ages 3-7 years) which is where I launched my educational career- as an early intervention teacher for children in the foster care system.
I developed my leadership philosophy during my time at High Tech High, which is grounded in a year of meaningful conversations with my colleagues from High Tech High's Graduate School of Education. I am ready to put my ideas and beliefs into action over the next year with my new colleagues in the Early Years School at Nido.
I hope you will join me this year on my teaching and learning journey!