Since September 2010 I have been employed in the Hempstead UFSD as a special education teacher. The opportunity to work in a diverse community like this has widened my perceptions about access and equity within communities. I have been fortunate to work in several buildings in the district: Franklin (Joseph A. McNeil), Front Street, David Paterson, Barack Obama, and now Jackson Main. Each building has its own personality and culture, but the overarching belief is that students will achieve.
Hempstead has afforded me opportunities to become a better educator by pursuing leadership degrees at SUNY Stony Brook and St. John's University. At St. John's I was able to achieve a lifelong goal which was to earn a Doctorate of Education in Administration and Supervision. As a fledgling researcher, I have interests in climate and cultures of organizations, change theory and systemic change, and providing and receiving feedback.
My favorite book is Creativity, Inc. by Ed. Catmull and several of his beliefs at Pixar drive who I am as an individual and educator. Some of the excerpts from the book that I particularly enjoy are:
"Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better."
"If you don’t strive to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead."
"It’s not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It’s the manager’s job to make it safe for others to take them."
"The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them."
"A company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody
should be able to talk to anybody."
"Do not assume that general agreement will lead to change—it takes substantial energy to move a group, even when all are on board."