I come from a long line of teachers on my father’s side. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a teacher myself. One of my earliest memories is from 1968 when the teachers in New York City, where I grew up, went on strike. To fill my spare time, I played school with my siblings and friends. Of course, I was the teacher! It was so much fun! So it is no surprise that I was the one who carried the educational torch for my generation and became a teacher right out of college. After that, it was a done deal — I, Rhonda Givens (now Rhonda Stewart), began my journey of fulfilling my dream of entering the teaching profession.
Fast forward to 2013 — I have been an educator now since… well, let’s just say for a very long time! Yet, not long enough to hang up my (interactive) writer’s pen because there are still lessons for me to teach and students and colleagues from whom to learn. I have seen the teaching profession go through many evolutions through the years, just as I have also evolved throughout my career.
I began as a teacher of grades K-5, progressed to run professional development workshops, became a literacy coach, and even explored the administrative side as a vice-principal for a while. However, I am finishing my career back in the classroom, as a sixth grade literacy teacher, having come to the realization that teaching children is really where my heart and passions lie.
The term “lifelong learner” is one of the new bits of educational jargon being bantered around our profession. It rings true for me since I do believe that is who I am. I feel that, through my learning, I grow as a teacher and a professional. I am looking forward to this year’s school journey, as I always do, but this year even more so, as I begin my time as a Scholastic teacher blogger. Here’s to another great year of teaching and learning!