Looking Toward the Future

As I reflect on my career as an educator, I am blessed to look toward the future. Facing retirement after many years of service in public education is exciting. This is mostly because retirement, for me, is simply another avenue to pursue my passions and to boldly go into the next adventure. I am so grateful that in my retirement from public education, I can begin to:

Provide service to others in the form of supporting and mentoring female leaders. As a recent doctoral graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, my dissertation was on the Underrepresentation of Female Superintendents in New Jersey. This research journey allowed me to see the challenges women in education face, particularly at the Chief School Administrator Level. Executive-level coaching is necessary for women to succeed in the top spot in education and I am thrilled to be offering to serve others.

Support educators at all levels through consulting and professional development. I have developed professional development content over nearly three decades in education which can be used to improve teaching and learning across multiple grade levels. This exciting consulting opportunity allows me to support more teachers than those in my district, reaching beyond the local community and toward all who may need assistance.

Support equity. Another area I am passionate about is removing barriers for the underserved and attempting to shine a light on the inequitable practices that plague our nation’s schools with wisdom and sensitivity. The importance of equity is paramount as many continue to face discrimination and unequal access to programs.

Social-Emotional Learning and Trauma Informed Teaching. Post pandemic, we simply must approach teaching differently. Understanding the effects of trauma on students and facing the reality that teachers are struggling as well, we can all come together through awareness and hope to reimagine our approaches, connections, and what it means to be human with each other. Through compassion, patience, listening to one another, and understanding SEL, trauma, and the need for social and human connection, schools and schooling can and will improve.

Cultivate leadership through new teacher cohort support. This is one of the areas I feel is most needed in education. When new teachers are hired, they begin their teaching journey with enthusiasm and passion. If their passion and talent are not cultivated, however, they may be negatively impacted by others. New teacher cohort support is unique, a customized opportunity for districts to build leadership capacity in their new teachers and maintain high levels of rapport, instruction, engagement, and content application.

It is so exciting to continue my educational journey, impacting a broader audience and finding satisfaction and gratitude along the way. I look forward to refelecting on my journey and inviting others along for the ride.

Author: Karen D'Avino

I am a passionate educational leader who cares deeply for the improvement of instruction through professional development and equitable practices and policies in schools.