It’s Just Different

May 13, 2011 at 3:50 pm 1 comment

While I’m waiting on this baby girl to get here, I might as well blog right? I took my maternity leave early because I really thought she’d be here by now. My dr. said she thinks it will be this weekend so we’ll see. Speaking of maternity leave….I took said leave from Rapoport Academy. I’ve been teaching there for 3 years, and what an amazing 3 years it’s been. If you’re familiar with Waco at all, you know the choice of schools is as diverse as anything else Waco has to offer. But Rapoport is just different. I’ve worked in large public schools, a private school, a small public school, and then Rapoport, a small inner-city charter school, and it’s just different.

My journey getting there was an interesting one. We’d moved to Waco in 2007, and I’d immediately gotten a position at a small ISD just south of Waco. The drive was not fun, and we found out that spring we’d be having Hudson in November 2008. Additionally I’d become incredibly interested in social work due to the amount of poverty in Waco, and I was very close to going to grad school for my masters. I talked with a guy we’d met at church who was a social worker and he led me to one of the directors at Mission Waco. I’d volunteered with them, and the work they do in Waco is incredible! I’ll blog about them later for sure! The director and I chatted one afternoon and by that time the pregnancy made me second guess the whole masters thing, so she suggested Rapoport Academy. I checked it out that night, had an interview the next week, fell in love with the way they practiced education, and was hired the week after that!

So what’s so different you ask? 1. It’s TOUGH! Students and staff are pushed everyday to be better and do better. 2. I was allowed so much freedom and creatvity in the way I taught. No cramming TAKS down anyone’s throat here. 3. The kids, while challenging at times, were fabulous, and at the end of the day wanted to be there whether they knew it or not. : ) 4. I got to wear jeans and my nose ring EVERYDAY! O.k. I know it sounds kind of trivial and maybe a bit selfish, but it wasn’t about dress suits and closed toed shoes at Rapoport. It was about learning and being comfortable enough to go romp around outside if that’s what that day’s lesson required.  The founder and superintendent (who happens to be Wacoan of the year) wore overalls and gardening shoes most days because until recently, she was the one who did the lawn.  You’d find many of our master teachers and dean of students in Chacos, sneakers, flip flops, etc. because everyone’s wardrobe wasn’t what was on our minds. Kids were on our mind, and our hearts, and hanging on our arms bugging us until we couldn’t help but love em’ ; ) 5. It was family friendly-I had to bring Hudson to work with me on 3 different occasions, and one of those times, changed a diaper on the floor of my superintendent’s office….while she was working. Two of the master teachers have kept Hudson on numerous occasions, and my dog a couple of times too. I’ve never had that kind of support anywhere else. 

All this said because my maternity leave was more than maternity leave. It was the end of a very important part of my life as I’m now moving on to a new phase with Read Smart Services, an academic service here in town. It will allow me to go part-time and be with my kiddos more. But I would not trade the years I spent at Rapoport for anything. If it’s the last place I teach, I’ll be more than happy with that. I truly believe it shaped me for this next job, and has equipped me to work with my next round of students at Read Smart. I could seriously go on and on, but overall, I don’t know how I’ll ever work at another school without comparing it to my experieces at RAPS. Like I said, it’s just different.

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Entry filed under: Family, Non-Profits.

Sacred, Simple, Dayspring. Some News! {Play on words intended}

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Deb Garton  |  May 14, 2011 at 1:41 am

    It is truly a wonderful place… and you have made a fabulous contribution to all of us – teachers and students. You are already missed.

    Reply

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