Are you our math teacher!?” Surprise!

There were a few surprised faces on the first day of school in our math class.

The past four years of my principalship have been marked with many highs and lows. The lows started to take their toll on me, and last spring I decided to re-enter the classroom for a season. To reconnect with students, and to be reminded about the joys of education and building relationships with students.

That is after all why I got into education.

So, I’d like to share a few takeaways from my time back in the math classroom:


I’m deeply thankful for colleagues in the classroom. The last time I taught a math class was five years ago. We have excellent teachers who engage continually in the important craft of teaching. It was great to talk about teaching, share resources, and co-plan our learning. It was also wonderful to work with an EA as we support the many needs in our classroom. We are blessed to have amazing EA staff who care deeply about our students and help them succeed.

I learned a lot as a teacher from my colleagues during my time back in the classroom.


Time is always a precious commodity. Teaching one class amounts to 1.25 school days in the classroom a week. Doing the math 😉 that left me with 3.75 days to do five days of “principaling.”

Working at ACS offers a fast pace of life/work, which I love. But this was an intentional commitment. It meant committing to time each weekend to plan for the week ahead. It meant leaning on my amazing secondary admin team to share the load.

I am thankful for the time I can wear a teacher hat again. Time I’m deeply thankful for.


The staff sure got a kick out of seeing me back in the classroom.

I taught in one of our classrooms with a big clear garage door. Often, when a staff member walked by, I would see a smile, or a smirk. The “boss” was back in the trenches.

I learned how to use Edsby, I attended IEP meetings, I wrote report cards, I marked student learning, I was the teacher after all. It was good to be reminded (and experience) the ways our teachers educate, serve, and disciple our students. I’m deeply thankful for them all, but this gave me a renewed and deeper sense of gratitude for our staff.


Last, and certainly not least, I really appreciated spending time as a teacher with a group of students. It took a good week before they all settled in…but when they did, we had a lot of “fun”(I had fun…some tolerated me/math).

From daily attendance questions, to wrestling with challenging concepts, and having a few good laughs in class, I was reminded about how each student is unique and is walking their own journey both in math and in life.

If I had to name the biggest change I’ve seen in students compared to five years ago when I was last in a math classroom is how they have to navigate such polarization and what feel like more extreme ups and downs. The world they live in is much more complicated than it once was. This adds another complexity to their experience.

It was a privilege to walk alongside each student in my class, to help them learn, to get to know them, and to encourage them.

I am deeply thankful to my students for embracing me as their teacher, and for encouraging me in so many ways.

I walk away from this season with a deep sense of gratitude for the amazing staff and colleagues I serve with. I’m more keenly aware of the complexities of this world, and the life that our students are trying to navigate. I am also reminded about the power of relationships with staff, and especially with our students. Thank you to the staff and students for allowing and supporting me in this season back in the classroom.

I’ll be holding on to this for some time. And don’t be surprised if you see me back in the classroom again soon.