June 3, 2015

My New Job: Starting a School

About two months ago, I started a new job. I am the (Founding) Operations & Business Manager at the Libertas School of Memphis. Libertas is a new public charter school opening its doors to students for the very first time this fall. We are a school in Tennessee's Achievement School District.

I was the fourth person to join the team, with about twenty or so teachers, assistants, and support staff coming on board by the end of June. It is a really exciting place already. We just moved into our new-to-us building (built in 1960) which we are working to get ready by the end of the month. It has been insanely busy so far, but great.

What makes our school unique is that we are a Montessori urban charter school. We are located in the Frayser neighborhood which is large area, but the resources are incredibly limited. We are hoping that our school will provide families in the area something (for free) that many around the nation are willing to pay thousands of dollars for at a private school.

I moved to Memphis three years ago thinking I'd be a teacher, but as it turns out, it seems the real reason was to help start a school unlike any other. I am looking forward to see what the awesome team I am privileged to be a part of can do for the children in the city.

I am truly grateful for the experience that I gained with the Memphis Teacher Residency and the Church Health Center to help prepare me for this incredible adventure. Great relationships were formed over the past three years and continue to shape and guide this chapter of my life.

May 16, 2015

I Want You

I am a huge fan of The Voice, almost always watching episodes the day after they air after they get posted on Hulu. As I was clearing off our dinner table listening to the sounds of contestants audition their way on to a team, my phone started to ring. It was a call from a man I had spoken to several times over the course of the prior three weeks. This time, however the tune playing in the background was a cover of I Want You by Luke James, a song I hadn't heard of until then. I thought it would be rather poetic if the phone call was going to be about something I thought it could be about. And it was.

I just got offered a new job.

March 2, 2015

The Folder

I needed a folder in which to place an important document. I had a Target gift card I needed to burn so headed there to find a workable paper transportation device and check for the random other things one typically purchases when romping through that store. When I got to the office supply aisle, I could only find one laying out but it was a bright, lime green. It didn't seem to fit with the quasi-professional feel I was going for. I looked hard for a different color, eventually setting on a navy blue, but the lime green folder just stood to me for some reason.

When I looked at the school website, it suddenly made sense.

February 28, 2015

My MTR Shirt

This week, on Tuesday to be specific, I put on my gray MTR shirt. It was our first day back at school after several days of icy weather shut us down. I normally layer my clothes during the winter, always picking a t-shirt of some color to go with a button down shirt and sweater I wear over top of it. Color is of significant importance, but so is softness. Over the past nearly three years I've had my MTR shirt, it has gotten some pretty good wear and because of that, it's really comfortable.

When I happened to pick that shirt for the day, I didn't really think anything of it. As I pulled the shirt out of my drawer, I briefly thought of the wild ride that my first year in Memphis was, but quickly moved on to the issues of the present. I was prepared the craziness that only having school closed for the last five of six weekdays could bring.

I didn't know that I'd be receiving an important phone call later that afternoon. I didn't know that the shirt that I wore on my back, from an organizational tie that was two years in the past, would suddenly matter for the opposite reason I ever thought it could.