Education

Older—and Wiser

November 11, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Hanne Denney, a 47-year-old “career-changer,” is in her second year as a special education and social studies teacher at Arundel High School in Gambrills, Maryland. Visitors to www.teachermagazine.org can read her ongoing blog, excerpted below, about the challenges and rewards of starting over in teaching.

I began my high school teaching career after 30 years of other jobs. I don’t know as much about teaching high school as those teachers who completed a four-year college program, but I know a whole lot of other stuff.

I know what matters in life. I know that the things I did as a teenager shaped my adult life. I know that what I learned in algebra and world history and music classes helped me in my jobs, and I can tell you how. I’ve had a lot of successes in my life just because I tried to do something. I know that everything I do today affects the rest of my life.

I’m not trying to get approval from the students in my class. Early on, I realized my own children didn’t need more friends—they needed a mother. A mother who was friendly, yes, but who wasn’t afraid to assert authority. I want to be that kind of teacher, too. I am old enough that I know I am not all that cool, and I’m cool with that.

When you’ve lived longer, you have more stories. I tell students about my personal experiences or the experiences of people I know. Even an active, teenager-filled classroom quiets down for a good story. ... If a child wants to hear more stories, they must learn to read, and I’ll help them do that. If a child wants to tell their own story, they must learn to write. I’ll help them do that, too.

I know that my own history and all that I’ve learned have come together to create a good teacher. Everything that happens now is another chapter in my storybook.

To read more or respond, go to Hanne Denney’s blog.

A version of this article appeared in the November 01, 2005 edition of Teacher as Older-and Wiser

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School Climate & Safety Webinar
Praise for Improvement: Supporting Student Behavior through Positive Feedback and Interventions
Discover how PBIS teams and educators use evidence-based practices for student success.
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Management Webinar
Build a Digitally Responsive Educational Organization for Effective Digital-Age Learning
Chart a guided pathway to digital agility and build support for your organization’s mission and vision through dialogue and collaboration.
Content provided by Bluum
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Drive Instruction With Mastery-Based Assessment
Deliver the right data at the right time—in the right format—and empower better decisions.
Content provided by Instructure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: April 27, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: April 6, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 30, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
6 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 16, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
7 min read