After graduating in May 2014 from Long University Global I was done with academics. Not for forever, but my brain was fried and I wanted to drift for a while. Drifting allowed me to do nothing and reflect on my last four years and the future without pressure. I had plans but nothing ready to set in motion. I still wanted to teach – though I bounced around ideas of where. Spending two years living out of a suitcase made me reevaluate where and when I wanted to plant roots and start “real life.”
I drifted from New York City back to Minnesota and started working two jobs. On passing the six month mark my academic batteries started to recharge. I started itching to learn and move forward. I started to set plans in motion – completing a TEFL certification course and applying for the JET Program – to satisfy my urge to travel and gain more knowledge and experience in teaching.
A month ago my passion reignited. While perusing the shelves of my local bookstore I came across Amanda Ripley’s The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They got that Way. Where was this book a year ago? I had spent the last year trying to small-scale, short-term version of Ripley’s book. Her insights, conclusions, and resources would have been an immense help. There was no way I could not read this book. I wrote in the margins, marked passages, and learned what I could have done better.
I started poking around the web and found that Pasi Sahlberg had published Finnish Lesson 2.0, an update version of Finnish Lessons, in December. My brain was – still is – on fire. It was time to return to academics and on my own terms. That is what this blog is about. It is my exploration and documentation of my strange path towards becoming an educator and joining the conversations at home and abroad. I want to revisit my thesis, become a ghost student of Sahlberg’s Harvard class (his entire syllabus in online!), and document my experiences in multiple education systems.
My path in not straight forward, it is complex and organic. My goal is to become the best teacher I can be and pay it forward to my future students and colleagues.