Courtney Smith

I got into education 10 years ago after graduating from Bridgewater State College with a B.A. in English and a focus in Creative Writing. I spent a year teaching 9th grade English at Falmouth High School in Falmouth, MA before joining Teach For America and moving to Baltimore, MD. While in Baltimore I received my M.A.T. from Johns Hopkins University, and taught in a variety of schools ranging from an alternative high school to a city-wide vocational high school. I joined Boston Collegiate in 2008 as an 8th grade Reading and Writing teacher and grade-level leader. In my career I have taught English Language Arts to grades ranging from 8-12th grade, and am currently the proud principal of our Lower School campus, which houses 200 fifth and sixth graders.

Although I originally thought I’d apply to MFA programs to pursue creative writing, I quickly fell in love with the classroom environment and all that working with young people has to offer. I love teaching, and I love teachers. They are my people. There is nothing better than watching a great teacher teach, or watching a new teacher grow. By nature teachers are incredibly hard working, agile, reflective and passionate. Those are qualities I admire about myself, and others, and I feel incredibly lucky to spend my days helping each professional in my building achieve their personal best, so that the kids can reach their full potential.

The best part about teaching is that, like language, it is constantly evolving and adapting to the times. I am excited for our transition to the Common Core State Standards, although it does not come without its challenges. We serve a population of students with varied abilities, needs and past educational experiences, and at times the road ahead looks daunting for an urban classroom. The truly inspiring moments of my work lies in this struggle—with both teachers and students alike—and I am enthusiastic to share this story with others.

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