Sunday, July 27, 2014

In Which Introductions Are Made...

Chances are that if you've found this site then you know who I am. Still, it's polite to introduce oneself at least once, so here we go.

My name is Kerry Chandler. In that picture there, I'm the least adorable one. I'm 31 years old (when I wrote this in 2014, anyway). I was born and raised in Conroe, Texas, where I still reside. I went to college at Texas A&M University, where I started out double-majoring in history and English with a focus on secondary education. Eventually, I decided that I'd rather be a college professor than a high school teacher (even though I had dreamed of doing nothing else for years), dropped the education track, converted the English major into a minor, and graduated a semester early with my B.A. in history. I went on to Texas State University in San Marcos (formerly SWT), where I graduated a semester late with an M.A. in American history, with my research focusing on the interaction between the military and society at home during and after World War II.

Near the end of my time at Texas State, I changed my mind back to teaching high school, got my alternative certification through Texas Alternative Certification Program, and found a job teaching at a charter school in Houston's Second Ward, perhaps the poorest neighborhood in the city.

My first year teaching was a baptism by fire. I was the only teacher in my department, so I had to make up curriculum, create lessons, write tests, etc. all on my own. I did this in 4 different preps, too - 7th grade Texas history, 8th grade U.S. history, 9th grade Dual Credit Introduction to College, and 11th grade Dual Credit U.S. history. I dealt with teaching a student body that was 100% economically disadvantaged, 40% limited English proficiency, and riddled with craziness that I've never seen in a public school. I had a kid who turned 16 on the day of the 8th grade TAKS test, a 16 year-old 7th grader with emotional disturbances who came to us fresh out of juvenile state prison for having stabbed a teacher with a pair of scissors, and more pregnant 7th graders than you'd have thought possible. It was a formative experience, because from that year on, I've mostly not found teaching to be very stressful. No matter how much other teachers complain about their situation, I can usually remember having dealt with worse.

Flash forward 7 years, and I'm entering my 8th year as a teacher. I now teach Dual Credit and level 11th grade U.S. history at my alma mater, Conroe High School. I also teach one night class each semester at Lonestar College. And now, here I am, wading my way into the already crowded pool of EdTech. I've been teaching and attending professional developments on educational technology for several years, but I'm just now turning it into a profitable business. Let's see how that goes, eh?

Thanks for dropping by and reading that huge wall of text. If you're still interested, make sure to check me out on Google+ and Twitter. Bye!

1 comment:

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