Educators across the district are gearing up to get back in class this upcoming school year. It will be a time to reconnect with fellow colleagues and students after more than a year of hybrid learning. de Zavala Middle School 6th and 7th grade ELAR (English Language Arts and Reading) teacher Candace Moffitt simply put her feelings into one word: ecstatic.
“I am most looking forward to the organic conversations amongst our scholars and their collaborations,” she says. “It was a bit difficult to accomplish this electronically, and that is where the best learning takes place – from one another.”
Prior to accepting the call to teach in the public schools system, Moffitt had a career in the fashion industry as a trainer and auditor. After finding herself feeling stressed and unfulfilled, she decided it was time for a change. In her free time Moffitt would volunteer in various places and serve the youth, something she truly has a passion for.
“My mentor suggested I give the public school system a chance. I did, and the alignment has been magical ever since,” she adds.
Moffitt completed an alternative certification program and has served as a practitioner of education since 2016. “To me being an educator means being the first line of defense against self-sabotage,” says Moffitt. “We are a reflection of limitless possibilities.”
The pandemic was a challenging time for education systems across the country. Everyone was forced to overcome challenges outside of their control, one of those being technology. Moffitt described this as one of her biggest challenges this past school year. Educators had to effectively engage students remotely. Even with challenges, Moffitt says the school year was a win for her personally as well as for the district.
“We made it,” she says. “The stressors could have broken us, but instead it solidified our resolve for academic excellence despite the odds and catapulted us into an incredible position to remain victorious.”
There were also many learning opportunities brought on by the pandemic, and one of the most important ones to Moffitt is intentional self-care for students and educators.
“Many were aware of the lack of self-care in education, but this past school year shed a light on it that can never be ignored again,” she adds.
As Moffitt prepares for the new school year, she’s also taken the initiative to further her professional development with the Irving ISD LEAP (Leaders Excelling and Advancing Performance) program. This program provides district employees with the tools and education needed to help prepare them to become the next campus and district leaders.
“LEAP is the portal to unleashing the person you see in your dreams,” she describes. “It is a mirror to who you are and to who you can be.”
Moffitt also says she made the decision to apply for the program to grow with other ambitious, like-minded people who understand what it means to have vision. “No one joins LEAP without knowing where they want to go or what they want to do,” she added.
For those interested in applying for the LEAP program in the future, Moffitt says to get clear about your why. “Know your purpose so when your calling calls you, you’re able to ensure your life’s meaning answers,” she says.
For questions about LEAP or application requirements, contact Katie Gilleland, Director of Human Resources-West at email@example.com or 972.600.5225.