Since my blog post last Saturday, I’ve tried to share glimpses into the work of some of the most incredible people I know who are also serving in our state’s classrooms and school buildings.
This #OklahomaEducator found a way to make it to college against many odds. Playing soccer became a pathway for him, and after graduation, he invested in coaching young people to not only help improve their skill level but also prepare them for how to handle life’s challenges. When he became a teacher, he took the same coaching approach to taking skill development into language arts instruction. When he saw students were looking for ways to use literacy skills outside a traditional English class structure in a way that was practical and relevant to their futures, he led a professional learning community to explore how students might learn to write, read, think and speak at a higher level regardless of their specific plans after high school. That PLC led to a pilot of a new class for seniors that included students who were headed to STEM fields, the humanities or straight to their careers.. This is merely one of the many examples of how he was focused on what’s best for students in the short term and the long term.
He also was the site coordinator and teacher of an elective class designed to help bridge the achievement gap in college and career readiness for students. He wrote recommendation letters for colleges and scholarships. He made students feel seen and valued. He was an avid reader and shared book recommendations for students on a variety of topics including both nonfiction and fiction. He sought grants to build a classroom library that would engage students in enjoying reading as a lifelong activity.
His classroom challenged students to think, to speak, to collaborate and to dream. Eventually, he wanted to make a larger impact and sought leadership opportunities, first as a teacher and then as an administrator. His journey as an administrator meant he relocated across the state. There his passion for all students, particularly those with special needs, grew into developing processes and protocols to help steward the goals of students from all backgrounds and pathways. It didn’t matter if they were the first in their family to graduate from high school, join the military, go to college, play collegiate athletics or transition into adulthood and vocational programming, he was excited to help facilitate success for all.
He’s impatient with stagnation and complacency. He challenges himself and others. He cares for kids across the spectrum. He creates opportunities for adults to grow in their skills and mindsets. Randy is an #OklahomaEducator who wants to grow professionally so he can benefit students on a broader level.
Randy, thank you for working hard for students each day. Thank you for showing up for adults and students alike. Thank you for being an #OklahomaEducator
Share your story about an outstanding #OklahomaEducator
2 thoughts on “Here’s another example of an outstanding #OklahomaEducator”
Eric, As I read your blog and the two teachers you have talked about so far, It has entered my mind that you should be included in your list of great teachers and educators. I have watched you grow since seventh grade and have been awed at the result. You were teaching even at that young age as you led your peers in football and in Student Council and Honor society as well as music and in your classes. You didn’t have to be in one of my classes for me to see just how awesome you were. With you, Tammy, and Dylan as my Student Council officers, I could just sit back and watch you guys take over and run with whatever we were doing. Your leadership skills were just forming. I didn’t have to be in your classes to know you were an excellent teacher because I had seen you in action. I have watched you as an administrator leading your teachers to do their best for your students. Just as you are still “one of my kids”, you have a whole slew of “your kids” around the state and world. I want to thank you for the job you have done and are doing. Keep up the great work.
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You are so kind and encouraging as you have been ever since I was at Brink. I’ve been blessed with so many great teachers, I really feel an obligation to live to that standard. Thank you for continuing to pour into my life and so many others and for all your support for public education in our state. I truly love and appreciate you!