This was my favorite question from the Wednesday Coffee with Grammar moms. It’s a good and reasonable question – a question asked for understanding and disclosure. The kind of question we want your students to learn to ask. Who? What? When? Where? Why?

There were a lot of questions that morning. Some I was able to answer on the spot – some I wasn’t. But I’ve done what we’re asking your children to do – I found answers and I will be sharing that information with you soon, but first I’d like to answer my favorite question in this forum as I’m hearing there are a lot of people wondering the same thing.

What do I do at Fortis? Why am I here?
My job is multi-layered and I love every minute of it.

Objectives: my greatest task this year is ensuring the objectives are written and published – a huge task requiring multiple minds and hundreds of hours, but the stability provided by the end result will be invaluable. This is actually building on, not different from, what was put into place last year.

Observations: I’m in the classrooms observing for multiple purposes. I’m watching your teachers to learn their strengths and gifts so we can create an environment where their talents are put to best use. I’m watching for unnecessary difficulties and challenges they may experience that  can be remedied. I’m observing how well the curriculum, schedule, methodology, and pedagogy are working to meet our goals. If there is a problem anywhere, we’re watching in an effort to deal with the situation as quickly and quietly as possible. I’m learning about the students as a group and individually in an effort to create the best learning environment possible for them.

Teacher training: Socratic dialogue, active learning – important skills for providing an environment where your students’ minds are engaged in everything they do. We don’t just come up with an idea, throw it out there and walk away – we talk with the teachers about how to put something in place, provide training if needed, then observe how well the practice works in the classroom. There’s a lot of brainstorming and collaboration going on. It’s a team effort.

Curriculum: if a school acts responsibly, curriculum is never put into place without continual assessment. I talk with publishers about best uses, intentions, and future publications.  I am working through the curriculum used at all grades levels to sync the scope and sequence with the class level objectives. And I’m always evaluating whether the curriculum supports the intention of schooling thinkers – not just learners.

Talking with parents – my favorite part.
Talking with students – I take it back, this is actually my favorite part.

Handle some administrative tasks and talk endlessly with Dr. Brannan under the auspices of “iron sharpening iron” as we continue to refine and impart the vision for the school.
I also annoy him endlessly with my lack of techno proficiency, have developed an appreciation for Pastor Dave’s jokes, and am on a constant quest for hot coffee.

There’s more, but you get the idea.

I’m on campus from 9-4:30 MWF.
So that’s generally the what, where, and when.  Now for the who and how. Who am I and how am I qualified?  You have every right to ask.

My undergraduate is History with a Communications minor.
Post-graduate is law. I practiced in litigation firms in areas of Wills & Trusts, Family Law, and Criminal Defense.

I was adjunct faculty at HCC in Houston and Delgado CC in Louisiana teaching History, Government, Constitutional Law.

I retired from everything when my first son arrived. I home schooled three sons.
Based on their interests and community need I was also a:

  • Speech and debate coach, club leader, NCFCA judge orienteer.
  • Founder, administrator, and lead teacher with C.I.T.E. Academy – originally offering residential summer camps for forensics, communications, and critical thinking. Growing to offer yearlong classes and club activities: moot court, mock trial, speech & debate, history and literature, critical thinking.
  • Worked for and with multiple home school co-ops, private and charter schools in Houston, Austin, and surrounding areas offering classes and developing curriculum and methodology for school desired classes and clubs.
  • Partnered with Houston Baptist University offering summer mock trial training for high school and college students.
  • Provided advocacy training and team building events for multiple 501(c)(3) groups.
  • Devoted over 20 years to training young Christian men and women in thinking, communicating, and the responsibility that goes along with developing great skills.

I wouldn’t change a thing when it comes to my career.
Keep asking! It only makes us stronger.

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