Today I came across this photo that was taken years ago. It is the apartment I lived in for two years at Northwood School, in Lake Placid, New York. Looking at this photo made me reminisce about the fond memories Of Northwood and with it being empty, I find myself reflecting on the interview, the move and the experience.
The interview was scheduled at 9 on a Friday morning in June. I remember that my fingernails were gone when I got off at exit 30. Half of my head was filled with interview questions and the other half with potential responses. The more I drove on route 73 the more nervous I got. But then when I pulled up to the school a sense of calmness came over me. The butterflies in my stomach started to vanish . Worries were gone! As introductions were made and interviews progressed, I felt comfortable and fel6 that Northwood would be a place I could see myself. Tha evening I chatted nonstop about the school and all the awesome opportunities that it had to offer. The next week when I got the position to work at Northwood I was beyond excited.
In August, I made the move to Lake Placid . It was not only the furthest I would ever live from home, it was also the first place I would teach in a classroom. Before Northwood, the bulk of my teaching experience came from working as a ski instructor OR and as a camp counselor. As I made the 6 hour drive from home to Lake Placid, my pickup truck full of my belongings, I was anxious with questions racing through my mind. Would the instructional skills that I honed at the mountain translate into the classroom? Was I capable of writing lesson plans, giving homework assignments, and teaching a whole year of high school Chemistry and Math? Who were the other faculty members and what would the students think of me?
My questions were answered in the first few weeks of classes. I forged relationships quickly, not only with other faculty members, but more importantly with students. Working with young people at the ski mountain had inevitably taught me to think on my feet and adapt to meet the students’ needs. I applied these skills, along with the flexible instructional style that I developed while teaching a different group of skiers each day]], in my very first classroom teaching session at Northwood. I had continued to develop and build upon these skills.. I had learned that while some teaching methods work for most students, alternate approaches must be used for the minority.
My experiences at Northwood affirmed that I want to make my career in education. It is rewarding to watch students struggle, ask questions, answer their questions, and have them finally master a concept. On the ice, coaching a player how to stop and seeing them grow into a more confident and efficient skater; or on the field, showing a player how tov them cradle a lacrosse stick. In the halls, having the boys share stories of their days’ or that they cleaned their room or finished all their homework. Watching their faces light up over the simplest things and having someone to listen to them.
Northwood has cemented me as an educator and continues to nourish my commitment to education . Without being given the opportunity to live and teach at Northwood, I would never have figured out what I really wanted to do!