Where did the time go?
I remember so vividly those freshman at the new Kamiakin High School in Kennewick, Washington in 1978. My job was to make sure those freshman were on campus and that I was tutoring them in the subjects that struggled with--math, English, science.n I had my own portable out in the gravel parking lot and I thought this was a pretty cool job. I saw it snow for the very first time out the window of my room that year.
I remember the little pre-kindergartners who walked into my classroom in Benecia, California two years later. I had completed the coursework for my Montessori certificate and was hired at the school where I trained. It was a five year run that ended with my being the Learning Director/consultant that saw the school grow into a Pre-K through 3rd grade school. Not a great school by any stretch but a great learning ground for me. I knew within a couple of years that I wanted and needed to go earn my public school teaching certificate which I did at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California.
At the end of that year of classes and student teaching, I was hired at little Jackson Elementary School in Fresno, California where I was hired to teach the 6th grade. My very first class is still the one I remember most. Those kids really kept me on my toes. They were and are the standard that every class since has had to attempt to measure up to. Except for a year off (I subbed in Boulder, CO) to follow my wife to do her Doctoral coursework, I stayed at Jackson from 1986 until we left for Hawaii in 1995.
A year in Hawaii working with special needs kids while my wife taught at the University of Hawaii, Hilo and then we moved to Bellingham, Washington. Here is where we at last found our home, nestled between the mountains and the sea--the place I had always dreamed of living. Here also I found Mount Vernon, Washington, a small town 30 miles south of Bellingham, where I began the final segment of my teaching career, again in a little school--Lincoln Elementary.
Here I began a 15 year partnership with Teresa Vaughn. I helped build an award-winning children's theater company, I Can Fly Productions, which produced a musical theater show each year mostly based on a Disney Broadway shows. With other teachers involved, we produced sold-out shows year after year that became huge money makers for funding field trips and other school activities that we could not otherwise have afforded.
I won numerous technology grants that brought tens of thousands of dollars in new computer hardware and software, digital still and video cameras, Smartboards, projectors and lots of training.
I also created the very first school website for an elementary school in Mount Vernon and continued as the webmaster of that site until my retirement 15 years later.
Now, I am about to walk out the door for the last time.
I have touched the lives o well over a 1,000 children in those 33 years. The exact number I'll never know. My hope is that I have done some good in the world.