ICEF CEO, Parker Hudnut, teaches at ICEF VPPHS

 Dear ICEF Family,

I cannot believe how quickly this school year is passing!

For me, this has been the greatest opening to any school year of my entire career. Why, you ask? (And, thanks for asking!) It’s because teaching has completely challenged me to grow, and rewards me three times a week with the opportunity to engage directly with our wonderful students. I have been enlightened in these first ten weeks:

• Prep – Nobody told me how much time it takes to prep for ONE class. Ignorant me, from my TA experiences in grad school. Prep time is so time-consuming and essential! In September, I spent longer preparing for my class than I did for the ICEF Board meeting later the same day! (Please don’t share that fact with the board.)

• Students - I thought I was the one supposedly testing students, but it turns out they assess me almost daily. Whether it’s bathroom passes or talking in class, they continuously test the boundaries and expectations of this teacher. Half the time, I don’t even realize what they are doing. Smart students!

• Wisdom – Classroom experience creates learning, learning creates wisdom, and wisdom is key to excellent teaching - being able to deliver a lesson while paying close attention to what students are doing, and how they are learning, then adjusting instruction in the moment to meet the needs of that day. Teaching is rocket science! I’m not there or even close, but at least I’m now aware so that I can learn. I am humbled by the wisdom that experienced teachers have.

• Stress – I am nervous during class about the content, what comes next, transitions, if I’m making any sense, or if students are learning anything. Even when I’m prepared well, it doesn’t always mean I am confident throughout class. While I am less stressed now, I still have days where I think I’m 22 again at my first job.

• Courage – Thank you for having the courage to plan, prepare and deliver the high-quality instruction that our students need to be successful in college and career.

My learning journey will continue, and I appreciate everyone who has helped me along the way. I still have a LOT to learn!

Thank you, teachers!!