5 years. 900 school days. 100 staff members. 600 students.
A correlation between these rough estimates is not necessarily apparent at first glance, but in reflecting upon my first five years of teaching since graduating from Antioch University, Santa Barbara in 2014, what ties all of these elements together for me are the relationships I have made amongst those many individuals in that time.
I have been lucky enough to experience teaching from multiple perspectives – first as support staff in the role of Certificated Tutor at Isla Vista Elementary for two years, then as a self-contained classroom teacher in Las Virgenes Unified School District for the past three years. Between the various school sites I have worked at and amongst the multitude of students and staff I have been able to connect with, what I have found has been the biggest and best take-away from these years have been the communities I have been a part of.
The foundation of the teaching profession really comes down to relationships — relationships between staff members to support each other personally and professionally amongst the whirlwind of the school year; relationships between parents and teachers in order to fully support the whole child; and most importantly, the relationships built in the classroom between students and teacher as well as students with each other. Without a safe and supportive classroom environment where students feel they are respected and valued by their teachers and peers, even the most amazing learning opportunities will be lost.
Coming from the small cohort of teacher candidates from Antioch, I saw the unparalleled value of community amongst my peers as well as my students. This insight of the necessity of strong and supportive relationships has only deepened as I have made my way in the teaching world. I look forward to continuing to build those relationships as an educator for years to come.
Written by Amy Rosen, a Graduate of AUSB’s Master of Education and Multiple Subject Credential Program, 2014.