From the Inside Out – A View through the Lens of a Educational Guide

By Cheri Reinke
DCS Educational Guide/Licensed Teacher

Our new learning space at the DCS site.
Our new learning space at the DCS site.

This past April I was scanning through the classifieds ads on Craigslist, in an effort to help my oldest son find employment. I stumbled upon an ad looking for “Educational Guides” at a new charter school in Dallas, Oregon. I was intrigued, especially when I saw one phrase that caught my eye, “out of the box teacher.”   I kept reading.

When I finished reading the job description, I was in tears.  This was the job that I have envisioned in my mind.  It encompassed all that I was in a teacher and it took away the limitations of a traditional classroom and allowed me the freedom to work with kids in such a unique and truly individualistic way.  I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I knew that I had to apply.

I was so content at my current position and I wasn’t looking for a change in schools.  When I told my principal at my school about the position and I knew she wouldn’t be happy.  After reading the job description, she told me I had to go for it.  That position was written for me.

What does a twenty year teacher from a private school background do going into a brand new public charter school?  Learn! Explore!  Investigate!  Study! Ask Questions!  Isn’t that the very same model that I am striving to model for my learners?  How am I going to do that?  What model am I going to use?  How do I teach multiple ages at one time and make it fun and hands on?  How do I work with my families off site?

The past month we have been working very long days.  I know I say this from all of us working side by side, and we don’t have all the answers but we are tirelessly working to figure it out. We are learners. We will make mistakes. One thing I share with my students is that  there is nothing wrong with making mistakes.  It is what you do with what you have that matters.  It the first path doesn’t work, take another.  Don’t quit.  Think positive.

At Dallas Community School we are a team of learners that want the very best of our students.  We want kids that are allowed to think and do and be.  We want to give them the opportunities to be kids and to wonder and grow.  As one of four educational guides, I look forward to working with you side by side and working to make this school outstanding.

Find ways to be involved.  We need you.

Cheri Reinke

Educational Guide