Mountain Mahogany Community School, Erda Gardens and Learning Center | Parent/Co-Founder, Member | Albuquerque NM
I have come to realize that I am a starter and my motivation for developing structures of innovation is to make a difference in our world; to support the manifestation of peace and respectful living. Sometime in my early-twenties, as a college drop out, natural therapeutics specialist trained, stay at home mom with three young children, something got into me (that starter, I suspect) and I simultaneously pursued a degree in Elementary Education, co-founded a Charter School (now in its seventh year of operation see www.mountainmahogany.org ), and continued to hone my skills as a mother. I found that all the things I had started (and quit prior to this, the training as a natural therapeutics specialist, massage therapist, iridologist, and maker of herbal tinctures, informed the picture that was sketched out in the charter school application - it would be a school to educate the whole child. Somehow I knew that as a whole human being, human beings can effect the best and most change.
Much has happened in my life since then, both personally and professionally, but nothing as tangible as the accomplishment of co-founding a charter school. However, I have found that often the subtle makes the biggest difference. When writing the charter application, the co-founder and I included that the school would be a learning community for all and that this learning would encompass not just academics, but also all the other domains that are important to life (social/emotional, environmental, multicultural, etc.). Of course, when creating something (be it an institution or a child), one can never really imagine what the outcomes will be. Although I had big visions, I never imagined that Mountain Mahogany Community School would become such a rich, life filled, proactive, and successful school. Through my involvement in the Mountain Mahogany Community School community (I am, cumulatively, in my 4th year teaching there and my 7th year as a parent) I have had the opportunity (and challenge) to engage in personal growth that has taken me into domains I would not have known of before. I have grown more and more into the person I wish to be, developing and fostering skills in myself that allow me to contribute to others much more effectively. I have learned to foster a calm and patience that I can count on, to listen and respect my body system, to hear others words and be able to hear for the deeper messages being expressed - and to do the same for myself. More than anything, I have had the opportunity to live a professional life that reflects the values of my personal life. I have a wholisitic life.
During these years, I also completed my Masters Degree in Elementary Education, married a man whom I get to live life in partnership with, and had my fourth child with. As I am continuing on the journey of motherhood (one teenager, two tweens, and a young child) and partner-hood, I am also looking at where my life is going professionally. As I stated above, I am a starter. Even as I pursued my credentials as a teacher, I always knew that teacher was not the end of my journey, but just part of my training for the next step. I am now in my fifth year of teaching. I am teaching a first grade class that I will loop with through second grade. I know that these years of teaching and working at Mountain Mahogany Community School is part of the training for whatever is next. I can feel within myself that there is a transition coming in my life, though I have no clue what and when. I am openly exploring the possibilities, trusting that I will know (as I have in the past) which path the correct one is for me, and hoping that in my lifetime I will contribute my gifts to the world.