Year 4 of teaching would finally land me in New York City at Harlem Prep Middle (Part of the Democracy Prep umbrella with a strong foothold in Harlem). Overall, this year was a year for learning how much better and how much further I had to go with my teaching. I would become a part of a great advisory and even better 7th grade team (I was one of the 7th grade math teachers). On the 6th grade and staff side I would also make some connections that I still have now with people have basically become my friends in NYC since they are no longer my coworkers (major shoutout to one specific homegirl who still is my rock in her understanding of me).
I also did have some great times with the students who I'm still able to see around my apartment because of how close I lived to the school, 2 blocks over for walking! During my time at this school, I would greatly improve my lesson planning skills, my management and coach football. I loved coaching football as it was a completely different way of teaching and there's no greater feeling than when your students excel. Also, I completely understand how coaches want to skirt around academics and otherwise to get their best players to play in order to win. Whenever you get into the right situation you'll get to sides of a coin that you never thought existed, but it's telling in how it shapes you as a person.
I would also gain a connection through Alumni Revolution (a branch from Democracy Prep) to meet an awesome menthe who I still talk to and help out as much as I can. She is awesome and a major shoutout to her!
On a different note, not all was positive. I'm going to be partially honest in this next part in my thoughts about my school during this time. I enjoyed my coworkers and students, but the admin was not the best in which they eventually let me go (at the behest of my content specialist too-I could say a lot about my disappoint here) and caused others to leave subsequently. There is more I could say about this event that is not political, but I'd rather not and just say that it wasn't the best fit. However, I would find the school I'm currently at which is a great fit for me regardless of the unknown future.
Outside of school, I would learn a great deal about mens' fashion, Mad Men, NYC living, broadway shows, restaurants, stick-shift driving and intense women thanks to my ex. Again, I could say a lot more here about the ups and downs of that relationship, but I'll leave it at that. I would also reconnect with several TFA, charter and even older friends who all wound living in NYC -shout out to CC, Kuan, Zoe, Nikki, and more. At the end of the year, I was thankful that it caused me to open up a lot to my parents, get better with my brother, learn about my anxiety and fears of commitment (among other mentalities), and finally get to hold my niece!!!!!
Even though I would have to find a new job, I knew I was staying in NYC and low and behold while learning Portuguese and traveling I would find a place that fit me well. However, I have many thanks to give to my experience at Democracy Prep and the people I met there.