I was a magazine editor. I had a desk, sat in a cubicle and rarely left the two-floor office in Providence, RI that housed 20-something staffers ranging from college-aged interns to longtime industry veterans. I worked alongside editors, graphic designers and sales people while writing stories about all things Rhode Island encompassing topics from its to a who has planted trees Douglas and Fraser firs since he was 12.
In August, I became Whitby School's Content Marketing Coordinator, trading in the cubicle for an open office, Providence for backcountry Greenwich, my small group of colleagues for 450 students and 100-plus staff and faculty, and most importantly, the stories of Rhode Island for those of Whitby.
New ideas and a high energy for change and innovation is great to have as an individual but they're substantially amplified within a community of thinkers with a likeminded attitude, and that's Whitby in a nutshell.
I'd be lying if I said I ever thought I'd be working at a school, and though I can't compare my time at Whitby to working at other schools, I can say I am truly happy with the decision of making the move. Every day at Whitby School is a challenge – in the most positive sense of the word. In other words, the routine day on campus is anything but routine, bringing a welcome unpredictability that perpetually engages every aspect of my skill set.
Here's what may happen on any given day: I may be taking video of a Stepping Stones class in the middle of parallel or cooperative play, shooting photos of fifth and sixth graders playing soccer or basketball, or recording student reflections on their personal beliefs and values. The possibilities for involvement at school are endless; in the last few months, I have spoken to several classes, started as an eighth grade mentor, chaperoned multiple field trips and have been approached to assist with a Cocurricular class – all things that aren't necessarily in my formal written job description, but are enriching experiences that make Whitby special to me.
New ideas and a high energy for change and innovation is great to have as an individual but they're substantially amplified within a community of thinkers with a likeminded attitude, and that's Whitby in a nutshell. While it would be easy to stick with the status quo and the mantra of "well, this is how we've always done it," we're encouraged to bring up alternative concepts, methods and ways to improve. To me, this atmosphere and the surrounding openness of both colleagues and students promotes an active mind that not only helps with work at Whitby, but also positively alters thinking for my own outside projects and life.
Though I'm not enrolled as a student at Whitby, I'm learning just the same. Here, being a lifelong learner isn't just an alliterative phrase that conveniently rolls off the tongue; it's a vital part of working here that's evident even after just a few months. I may only be about 150 miles from my old desk in Providence but traveling to Whitby has led to an unmeasurable world of thought.