Monday, December 6, 2010

Discovering Inspiration

Last year I had the honor of sharing two guest posts written by New Milford High School Students.  I am excited to welcome senior Meredith McCann to A Principal's Reflections.  This is the first of two posts written by Meredith that I will be sharing.  Please leave comments as they will be shared with her.

Decision-making is not always easy, especially when one decision will affect how you will spend the next four years of your life. As a high school senior I have spent a great deal of time thinking about my future.  I have decided that I want to study mathematics with the hope of becoming a high school math teacher.  During this process, I have selected schools, completed my applications, and reflected on my experiences over the past three years at New Milford High School.

Upon entering high school as a freshman I tried to take advantage of all that was offered to me and get involved in many different facets of the school. As a student, I have taken advantage of the academic aspect of school, but what I have learned through my time at NMHS is that a high school experience goes far beyond the 8 periods of the school day. Because of my early participation in different activities, I now hold several leadership roles as an upperclassman, including being President of the senior class, Captain of the girl’s soccer team, and President of our music honor society. I was also fortunate enough to be selected as NMHS’s delegate for New Jersey’s Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Seminar my sophomore year. All of these experiences have taught me what it means to be a leader. Through all of these opportunities I learned that a good leader must be dedicated to inspire positive change.
When I reflect back on my time at NMHS there were many people who inspired positive change in me.  Due to my involvement in many after school activities, I have been fortunate enough to develop strong relationships with several NMHS teachers. The funny thing is that a few of them were not teachers I ever had a class with. These exceptional educators have shown me just how teachers can lead students and guide them in the right direction, in and out of the classroom. In my opinion, that is the most important aspect of being a teacher.

My freshman English teacher, Raymond Harrison, tells a story about when his college professor asked him why he wanted to be a high school teacher. Mr. Harrison began to respond by explaining that he loved the subject of English. His professor cut him off before he could complete his response and told him that a passion for a specific subject should never be the reason to become a teacher. He told Mr. Harrison that you should only become a teacher if you love to work with children. That statement was a wakeup call for both Mr. Harrison and me.

I realized that after all is said and done, 30 years down the road, students might not remember rhetorical devices or the periodic table, but they will remember the teachers who helped them when they were struggling or reached out to get to know them.  As I begin my journey toward becoming a teacher, I will always remember the lessons I learned from the great teachers I was fortunate to meet at NMHS.  I hope that I can inspire students the way I was inspired.


  1. Great post Merideth! We need teachers who teach students first and subjects with the time they have left! You are lucky to have had a such an inspiring experience at NMHS! Good luck on your journey to becoming a math teacher. We need good people who care in this profession and it sounds as though you are making the right choice!

  2. "A good leader must be dedicated to inspire positive change"
    Meredith – Great post. It does take the right person to inspire greatness. Often that greatness is accompanied by major change. I think no matter where you end up in life, you will be not a good leader, but a great one!

  3. Hi Merideth,

    Thanks for sharing your valuable experience.

    You got a chance to understand a deep understanding of your life. It would be very important in that you must know your life before you become a teacher. What you would like to do for a job is only part of your life, so that it would be more important to have an insight into all of your life more comprehensively and in the long term.

    I hope you have more good opportunities for your life journey.

  4. Hi Merideth, reading your reflection in my far-flung corner of the world, Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific just north of Australia, to me, you empitomize the outcome we hope for in all our levels of education. Go for it girl! You already demonstrate great leadership qualities, with which you will no doubt make an excellent teacher of Mathematics.