A New Academic Year

im000073.JPGI am more than curious to discover how my 7th year of teaching will unfold. I spent much of this past summer reflecting on the many challenges I faced last year, thus it is my goal to circumnavigate some of them; however, there are a few that still remain. I am teaching a lighter load this year in comparison to the past two years. I do believe this will be beneficial to all parties involved. The exciting part about my 7th year rests in that I will be teaching at a Christian school. I have had other very good opportunities (up until three weeks ago) to join other elite institutions that are not sectarian; however, God has continued to point me in the current path that I am on. Moreover, while reflecting on my current past, I started thinking about how I arrived here. My first teaching post at CAC was a great opportunity for me to meet a number of dynamic people. I still stay in touch with a number of people in Little Rock, such as Anita Davis (Calculus), Teresa Story (AP US & AP English), and Melissa Leverett (AP English). And of course, there is my former principal Ken Roberts. He and I used to spend a great deal of time discussing politics and playing racquetball. I always won when it came to politics; he usually beat me on the court. Those years were great in allowing me to grow as a teacher and a scholar. Ken rarely said no when I needed money for something. Anita quickly became my confidante and one of my biggest supporters. Teresa, Anita, and Melissa made my job much easier at times. That is also true of Jeff Daniel, a member of CAC’s history department.

As for Houston Christian, well I am teaching my favorite classes while working in a department that appears to be bonding in a way that is different from previous years. I see the history department as a cohesive unit with much expertise. We are all so freaking smart and gifted educators. I have found that we tend to check our egos at the door while trying to articulate a particular point. I am most excited about the group of students I have. My AP US class is made up of a bunch of selfless participants that make it fun to go to work. In many ways, they are starting to remind me of the last AP European History class I taught at CAC. To this point, that CAC class has been one of my favorites. APUSH is going to be great this year. My AP European History class is off to a good start. I like the chemistry of this group. The personalities are very different. And so far, their contribution has been great. They do have big shoes to fill. My ’06 AP European History class was by far my best academic class (according to the exam). That is saying a lot when you compare them to some of the classes I had at CAC – particularly the ’02 & ’04 bunch. I am convinced that they will be my top Euro. Class.

I can tell that my World History class is still acclimating to my teaching and workload. They have been extremely positive and supportive so far. I am amazed at the number of student leaders I have in world.

Ultimately, I have a great job. My colleagues are scholarly and genuinely nice; my department head has great ears and a wealth of knowledge; my neighboring departmental colleagues are fun people to chat with. It feels odd at times being the only serious liberal on campus, but I am willing to look past that for all of the positives I get while working here.

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