Choice school teachers in Mehlville are ready, eager to pave the way

To the editor:

I am a teacher in the Mehlville School District, and my name is Susan Weedman.

I have been teaching in MSD for 18 years, 13 of the years teaching math and five years teaching science at Margaret Buerkle Middle School. I was recently hired to teach at the Choice School of Innovation, or CSOI, for the 2017-2018 school year. My decision to depart from MBMS was with much trepidation. My home and heart has always been at Buerkle Middle School. So, how could I possibly leave? Will this be the best decision for me, so late in my career?

After all, I will be venturing into uncharted waters. There are only a few school districts around the nation that have a school of innovation. Yes, it is a bold move, but a necessary one for me and for our district.

Now, I would like to tell you why I feel compelled to make the switch. Through my professional development, I learned how to become a teacher and a person who has a growth mindset. I learned a good lesson provides students with multiple entry and exit paths.

When students are given discernment and avenues to explore in their own way of learning — impossibilities are now possible.

Setting one’s own path and pace is empowerment. Accomplishments are achievable and intrinsic rewards are inescapable.

I know most are saying, why can’t teachers provide this empowerment at any school in our district? Well, they can. But let us think about the size of our district.

Change takes time and money. It cannot take place overnight. I am sure there are still many teachers and community members who, like me, have trepidation over a bold move such as this.

Everyone needs to be given the opportunity with further professional development to grasp a new mindset. We all approach change differently.

Do I believe that all teachers in the district are like me? Of course not.

But one thing for sure I know is that there are 12 appointed teachers for CSOI, including myself, who are eager and ready to pave the way.

We have community members, board members, a superintendent, a principal and a great staff who agree and accept this change in education with open arms. A school with a united front and students who are excited to join it, how can it go wrong? Let this small school be the rudder for the district. Just like a small rudder is part of the ship.

CSOI is part of our school district. When given the opportunity, could CSOI fuel the district with a successful path and avenue for other district schools to follow? Why not let this school ignite our district and lead the way to a stronger future for our students?