A New Position

I just accepted a math TOSA position (grades 5-8) with the Rio School District.

I’d spent the last 30 years in the classroom – my school as my second home, my colleagues as my family, my work as my life and identity, but most of all, my students as my children, my babies, my heart.

Then, I thought about not having to grade papers and not having to write sub plans when I’m deathly ill. Hell, yeah, I wanna be a TOSA.

Other stuff that I will not miss about teaching:

  1. Having that patent nightmare, always the week before school starts
  2. Finding my lunch in the microwave at 3:00 PM because I’d forgotten about it
  3. Ignoring and hanging up on any and all nature calls
  4. Feeling guilty on the weekend for not preparing for Monday’s lesson, and feeling guilty on all weeknights when I haven’t worked on the next day’s lesson
  5. Hearing students coming back from an absence and asking, “Did you do anything? Did I miss anything?”
  6. Hearing students ask the day before the grading period ends, even though it’s a widely-known forbidden question, “Is there any extra credit?”
  7. Pretending to laugh at their stale jokes
  8. Lying to them that I’d missed them during winter break
  9. Dreading to open that one parent’s email
  10. Having to choose between sleep or exercise because God gave teachers fewer hours

I’m excited to embark on this ambitious assignment. I hope to support the teachers by meeting them where they are, and if they’re always at happy hour, I’m willing to work with that. I’m in this to listen to their concerns and ideas and will try my best to refrain from uttering nobody cares. It’s imperative that we build our relationships on trust and respect, and plus one on the respect if they cheer for my #GoDucks too. I look forward to a co-teaching model that honors the students’ contributions and their rights to the best versions of us, if not the best education. I will remind us about self-care.

Many thanks already to Jeff Linder and Andrew Stadel for answering more questions about math coaching than I knew to ask.

Let’s have a fantastic year of learning and supporting each other, all while cheering on one team – STUDENTS.

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  1. Posted August 13, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink



    • Jessica Breur
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Congratulations Fawn!! So excited for you. It is great to have another coach and TOSA to connect with and bounce ideas off of.

  2. Posted August 13, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, Fawn!

    You’ll find there is a community of people who do similar work in terms of teacher educator / coach / etc… and they are happy to chat with you and bounce ideas off each other in the community. I mention this because, and I’m sure you know this already, in some ways the work you will do in your new position is so different from your current work that it will feel some days like you are a first year teacher again, and so having a community that has your back and can offer advice when you get stuck is helpful.

    • Melinda Knapp
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Yes and yes!! Lots of support out there.

  3. Posted August 13, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Congratulations!!!! Look forward to hearing all that you’ll be doing next.

  4. Kate Fisher
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    I’m so excited for you and for the teachers of Rio School District! Rio is definitely on the rise with this hire!!!

  5. joe
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Your teachers are sooo lucky!!! Have fun!

  6. Wendy Menard
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful news! Congratulations! Lucky Fawn! Lucky teachers!

  7. Posted August 13, 2019 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I look forward to following your journey. I hope you’ll share newfound resources.

  8. Frank Schorn
    Posted August 14, 2019 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    Congrats, Fawn!

    I just researched and found what TOSA represents. (It’s not a term we use in NY.)

    No doubt, you will use your innovation, humor and dedication to support the teachers on your special assignment.

    The phrase good luck normally fits well here, but you don’t need luck, since you already have the skill and talent!



  9. Laura Lopez LeRoy
    Posted August 14, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Congratulations, Fawn!!

    Your new experiences will be rewarding!!

  10. Heidi Shimamoto
    Posted August 14, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, Fawn!

  11. Posted August 15, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Happy for you also — well deserved…#soblessed

  12. Posted August 16, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    From my experience the amazing benefit you’ll notice first will be the luxury of attending to “any and all nature calls.” And, if you’re like me, you’ll never lose your speed at peeing/washing hands/out the door – middle school teachers just have it down to a science!

  13. Sue VanHattum
    Posted August 19, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Congratulations, Fawn! Your expertise will help more students now.

  14. Sue VanHattum
    Posted August 19, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    (I hate wordpress. I can’t use the email I used above to receive comments and posts from your blog. I am required to use a different one. And I just found out that wordpress has been sitting on my comment subscriptions for 492 posts on various blogs. I am writing this just so that I can subscribe over again.)

  15. Posted August 20, 2019 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, Fawn! Rio is lucky to have you and the teachers are very lucky. Please don’t stop doing the math circles! <3

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