initially, i wrote a 500-word piece about the first day of school. i wrote about the excitement and anxiety that comes along with the month of august. after surviving the school year and eliminating the endless mountain of work, i refocused my aim. it’s currently may. i’m finally launching a website that i have been dreaming about for a few years.
this is the lifestyle of an educator and a scholar. i’m always busy. i have over 500 emails in my inbox. i talk to parents from school more frequently than i talk to my own family and friends. i sleep about 5-6 hours a night. i live for saturday mornings when i can sleep in.
this past school year began the third phase of my educational career. one of my professional goals was to teach at different stages of educational development. previously, i worked as a resident director at a prestigious hbcu in atlanta, georgia. in 2014, i relocated to new york, new york and began as a classroom teacher. i started teaching 7th grade american history and creative writing at an all-boys school in bedford-stuyvesant, brooklyn. this past year, i began my first administrative role as a dean of student culture and college readiness instructor at a charter high school in crown heights, brooklyn.
i wanted my first post to capture the anxiety around the first day of school and connect this anxiety to the newness of launching a website and sharing my perspective on various topics. i was waiting for the perfect day to reveal this great idea, only to realize that the perfect time is now. creativity can be an unpredictable variable to contain within a school day.
this past year taught me many lessons, both professional and personal. this past year brought forth a fullness in my life, that was absent for some time. intheshoe is the conduit to express my reflections on academia, current events, and personal style.
the name of the site originates from a close friend and fellow artist. while working as a resident director, he would often call or stop by and ask, “how’s the shoe?” he would pose the same question every time he visited, but it never landed, not in the way he intended. one day, i asked him what he meant by the shoe. he rattled off the old nursery rhyme, “there was an old woman who lived in a shoe, with so many kids, she didn’t know what to do.” we laughed and roared at his wit. he cracked another joke in which he referred to me as whitley gilbert, but the idea about the “shoe” stuck with me for a while.
the “shoe” has become my life. the past seven years built a metaphorical home for the many students i have taught and mentored. this home is filled with the many lessons learned, places traveled, and the people encountered along the way. the shoe is a double entendre for the career i’ve built and my passion for personal style.
it’s quite possible to spend a lifetime, “in the shoe” continuously learning and wandering my way around new york city.