Not just another face in the crowd
When I was little, I wanted to move to New York City and become a Rockette. Seriously. The kids I knew wanted to be teachers, doctors, baseball players, or scientists. I aspired to be in the world’s most famous kick line in one of the world’s largest cities.
So, I’ve been to New York City a grand total of once. I have an awesome headless picture of myself atop one of the World Trade Center towers. Aside from that, I wasn’t all that fond of the city. I didn’t like being just another face in the crowd. Since that time, I have purposefully chosen the paths in life that have allowed me to be a part of a community. And by “community,” I don’t just mean town or neighborhood, I mean “community” as any group of people engaged in a common goal. I am proud to be a member of the journalism community, a member of my children’s school communities; and now, a member of the MAT@USC community, the September cohort community, and the secondary English educator community.
The great thing about being a member of a community, or many communities as the case may be, is that you know there are people with faces and names and stories to share that are interested in knowing your face, your name, and your stories, too.
The MAT@USC offers the technology to create this kind of community, but the technology is only the beginning. Each member of the faculty involved in the program is easily accessible and eager to share a vast array of knowledge and experiences with us. The Student Support staff sleeps with their laptops on under their pillows and their phone lines open so we are always able to see, hear, and experience one another. From the admissions counselors to the financial aid office staff, from the fine folks at the university bookstore to the leadership within the Rossier School of Education – we all have been welcomed into this community of people dedicated to the education of our nation’s youth with open arms. And through this amazing example, I hope to create the same kind of community for every student I teach.
Christmas at Radio City Music Hall would have been pretty cool, but I feel so lucky to have found this community of people – students, professors and support staff – that allows me to be a face and a name and a part of the solution.