Sam Harrelson

Moving On From Carolina Day

In early June I’ll wish my 7th graders godspeed and wrap up my time at Carolina Day School. It will be a bittersweet day (and next few months) but I’m excited about the remaining time I have with my students and colleagues to learn and grow in the halls (and on the many stairs) of Stephens.

I have so much love for my two years of students there. Both my current 7th graders and the now 8th grade group have taught me more than they’ll ever know about life and I’ll be eternally thankful to have spent a couple of rotations around our closest star learning about the universe with them.

Similarly, my colleagues are amazing people and teachers. I love our Middle School team and am so thankful to have been in their presence the last two years (smelly “workhole” and all). Our 7th grade team is the best group of folks I’ve ever worked with and their daily inspiration and talent is beyond words. It’s hard to think of leaving at this point because we’re firing on all cylinders and really hitting harmonies and resonant frequencies as a team. I’ll never forget the real excitement that they make me feel for teaching and especially learning.

However, it is the time for me to move on professionally. As I told Peggy Daniels, our Middle School Head, today, “I’m really good at working with people but not so good at working for people”.

My views and philosophy on education necessitate that I follow a different path. I’m not exactly sure what that looks like (“the woods are lovely dark and deep”). Yet I know that drive will take me and my career down a road that is still covered in snow because I have miles to go before I sleep (beg pardon of Robert Frost there).

So what’s next? I have a couple of interviews at exciting local schools but I also have the nagging persistence of StudiesLab.

It’s a business plan and educational model I’ve had written for years in my head (and on paper) of decentralized, cooperative and authentic education based not on 19th century content delivery for Victorian factory workers but on current research aimed at producing world changers. A place for round pegs in a world of square holes. A prayer for hope and humility and learning.

Or something like that.

Regardless, it’s time to plant sequoias.

Posted: 03.21.2013

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