One of the biggest ways my fellowship changed me – and subsequently my teaching – is through my mindset. I now see myself as a leader in my school and Kenan fellowship opportunities have allowed others to view me that way as well. For example, I was a part of the data literacy training which was offered through the fellowship. And because I’ve been applying new data collection and analysis methods in my classroom and sharing that with peers, I was asked to lead a district wide professional development session on these methods. Additionally, I’ve been asked to speak at a board meeting and attend an NC Chamber Conference because of my fellowship. All of these opportunities – among others – have made me more well-known throughout the school, the district and community and given me what I like to call “teacher cred”. This may just be the power of a perspective change, but because I’m known to be a hard-working, caring educator it feels to me as though my opinions are given more weight. I’m more comfortable raising my voice when necessary and influencing changes in the district.
I also feel that this leadership mindset I now have has caused me to push myself as an educator and continue to seek out new opportunities for growth. For example, I’m applying to become a part of the Teacher Voice Network where I will learn more about educational policy and how to influence it to better my community. Additionally, I’ve applied for two summer research opportunities that will help me continue to better design inquiry and problem-based lessons for my students. I hope I can continue this growth for the rest of my career.