For eight years, I worked as a biology teacher with hundreds of students. The whirl of experiments and lessons and guest speakers and science fairs made for the most engaging, meaningful and fulfilling work I have ever done. Every day challenged and inspired me, and pushed me to be the best possible version of myself. It is an endlessly fascinating challenge to unearth each student’s potential and to help them through life’s journey. The time I spent with them changed my life for the better.
Content as I was in my role, I was increasingly aware of the scope of the need outside our small school. Each year, we reached capacity before every family seeking to enroll could find a placement. There were teachers willing to meet the challenge, but few willing to leave the classroom to coordinate their efforts. Making a bigger difference meant that I would need to step up to the greater responsibility of creating a new school, modeled on the successes of the one where I thrived as a teacher. I also relished the opportunity to leverage my experience in the life sciences to create a new school focused on careers in healthcare. As the son of a family of first responders, how could I resist the opportunity to bring my personal and professional lives together in a new mission?
Beginning this new stage has been a time of reflection on my earliest days as a teacher. As then, I am facing the challenge of a new role in the schoolhouse. But unlike before, I enter the work with a clear sense of my mission and the benefit of the many years of positive classroom experiences to inform and inspire me in the next stage of my work.
- Anthony, Fellow since 2005
Did you know? Since 2000, over 380 Fellows have gone on to become principals, administrators, and school founders in New York City.