Educators Ignite enthusiasm

EMMA MARLEY, Features Editor

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For the second year, the Ig­nite program has sparked an interest for teachers across the Harford County school system in an attempt to promote lead­ership and empowerment.

Currently, 49 educators with a variety of years of experience over a wide range of content areas. Out of the cohort, four teachers from the North Har­ford region are participating: NH Elementary School teach­ers Kimberly Keating and Jen­nifer Sevilla and NHHS English teachers Jennifer Chandler and Meagan Varga.

According to enrichment teacher Sevilla, “the idea of Ig­nite is to start the fire and help it spread throughout your class­room, building, county, and be­yond.”

English teacher Varga ex­plained that the program will culminate with the Leadership Summit on June 14. “We will ul­timately be presenting our proj­ects to teachers and administra­tor…,” the educator stated. “The presentation will include our roots (the reason we entered the teaching profession), a problem of practice, and our envisioned solution.”

Chandler commented that the experience involves a great deal of self reflection and self-di­rected work. “We have a wide range of activities to complete. These include readings, videos, writing activities outside of our face-to-face meetings. “Noth­ing is overwhelmingly difficult. Each step of the process is lead­ing us towards our goal of ad­vocating for our profession as teacher leaders in the county,” said Chandler.

Keating shared that the pro­gram seems motivating and rewarding. “We [Keating and Sevilla] felt so inspired by other people and their stories and it’s just a very positive atmosphere with the teachers that were there,” said Keating.

Sevilla added, “I left the first meeting energized. It’s easy to get caught up in all the negativ­ity, but then you get to hear the stories of why so many educa­tors got into teaching and all of a sudden it takes you back to making an impact on kids.” Var­ga included that after leaving the first meeting, she felt “invigo­rated and ready to get started on my own project.”

According to Varga, “the cur­rent culture of education can sometimes be difficult to main­tain a high level of enthusiasm. Through the Ignite program, educators can find positivity and motivation from others to make the best of their teaching situa­tions.”

The enrichment teacher stat­ed, “I think this program is very important particularly when teachers feel that they are stuck in a rut or feel overwhelmed… I think this refocuses and reener­gizes you.”

Varga also shared, “it is easy for teachers to get lost in all the other things that are going on, but ultimately we must re­member that we are here for the students. By making a few small changes in our demeanor and routine, we can have a lasting impact.”

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Educators Ignite enthusiasm