EAD861 / Introductions

Video Introduction: August 30, 2012

A Video Introduction.

Audio recorded and edited using Audacity.  Video made using iMovie.

My Audio Script:

I grew up in Syracuse, NY, the second of five boys, in a house affectionately referred to as “The Locker Room.”  While all five of us began our schooling at Most Holy Rosary Catholic elementary school, we followed different paths from there—public schools, Catholic schools, independent day schools, and independent boarding schools.  I went on to our local public middle and high schools where I earned good grades and a poor education.  My grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities allowed me to attend Vanderbilt University where I received an academic ass-kicking for three years, studying Political Science and French, before I figured out, if not how to succeed and thrive, how to no longer get my ass kicked in the classroom.

After graduating from Vanderbilt in 2000, I began teaching at a medium-sized independent day school in Columbus, Ohio.  Since then—except for the year that I spent running a restaurant—I have taught at three independent schools—two suburban day schools and one rural boarding school—in three states.  I have taught Government, Economics, Ethics, Personal Finance, World Politics, and French; and served in a variety of other roles, as needed by the schools—coach, dorm parent, admissions officer, diversity coordinator, and more.

In 2008, I began the MAED Program at Michigan State and, given my schedule, commitments, and how I learn, I knew that I could only manage to take one class at a time to work toward completing the program.  So, when I graduate this Spring, I’ll have taken advantage of the full five-year maximum in order to complete this program.  As I mentioned, how I learn led me to spread my course work across five years.  I am a slow learner.  By that, I don’t mean that I am slow to understand meanings, but that I like to spend time on ideas and to see, hear about, and think about them from a lot of different angles, in various combinations, and to let them sink in in light of those perspectives and possibilities.  While I’ve completed a few online learning style quizzes, I don’t really like to categorize myself according to them.  I just love learning, and am willing to try new things and to learn in different ways whether it’s comfortable, enjoyable, or not.

I signed up for this course because the more I teach, the more I realize that the young people who come to my classroom every school day are not my only audience.  There is a whole set of adults, myself included, to be learned from, learned with, and taught in order for my best work to get done for all of the people, group, and organizations that I serve.  Also, I recognize that, if I’m going to study and practice Educational Leadership, I will need to consider the learning needs of the adults in the organizations that I’m part of if I am to help them (as well as myself) to do our best work together.

As far as myself, I am married and have two kids—a daughter and a son, who are nearly 5 and nearly 3 respectively.  My wife and I are in our fourth year of teaching at the same school, a Pre-K through 12, independent day school in Charlotte, NC, where our daughter just began Pre-K two weeks ago.  So, I’m now excited about having started back to school in a new way—as a parent.

It’s going to be fun learning along with all of you this semester.

I’ll see you all online soon.

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