Graduate Address: Rebecca Rubin

Graduate Address: Rebecca Rubin

Hello everyone! Welcome to the 2016 AUSL CTR graduation! I see a lot of supportive faces in the crowd today: family, friends, significant others, and my therapist also known as my mother. Thank you everyone who has come out today to watch as we finish our journey, and thank you family and friends for putting up with our confusing acronyms for the past seven months.

It’s hard to believe that this day has arrived and I didn’t have to align my speech with any common core state standards. I am truly honored to be speaking in front of such an accomplished group of individuals, and I thought what better way to kick this speech off than with a community builder!

This activity is called Stand Up If, and in the spirit of explicit directions, residents will stand up if the statement I say applies to them. Are you guys ready? I’m looking for 100%! Ok, here we go:

  • Stand up if this has been one of the most challenging years of your life.
  • Remain standing if it has also been one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.
  • Continue to stand if your students inspired and challenged you on a daily basis.
  • Now stay standing if you would love to do this whole residency year over again!

When I started this program, there were a few things I expected: to work really hard, to immerse myself in the world of education, and to consume more coffee than humanly possible. However, I was not expecting to find myself with a new and unlikely AUSL family, made of people from all walks of life with one common goal: educational equity.

We started off together last summer, or as I like to call it, the calm before the storm. I think back to last July and how we were strangers to each other, so fresh faced and relaxed. Now as I stand before you almost a year later, we all have just a few more grey hairs and undereye
bags. Today I can’t believe how much we have grown together. Every Friday this year, I looked forward to seeing your faces and seeing what vegetable Tyesha would be eating in the corner of the classroom. If I had one of those weeks where nothing seemed to go right, when despite my best efforts my lesson bombed or I still could not connect with that one student, I knew I just had to make it to Friday when I could see my AUSL family, where we could share our stories and raise each other back up.

What makes this program so special are the relationships that you create along the way. Whether that’s with your co-resident, that person who sits in a coffee shop with for 9 hours working on your EdTPA or your students who become your source of great happiness and pride, who you lovingly refer to as “your kids.”

As I begin to plan for next year, even though I won’t see my AUSL family as often as I do now, it’s obvious to me that your influence on my life will be felt in my classroom. So to my cohort, thank you for the unconditional support and always laughing at my bad jokes. Thank you to my mentor, Ms. Liao, and all the mentors in this program, for showing us what it means to be dedicated and passionate teachers. And to my co resident, Ashley, and all the residents for being a support of one another day in and day out. To all the MRCs for making sure that we always had what we needed and to my MRC, Beth, who has been a huge support this entire year. Thank you Terri, Jency, and Scott for leading us on this journey. And to our professors at NLU who helped us become strong teachers despite acting like our students on some Fridays.

It is impossible to sum up my experience with AUSL in a speech because this year has truly made me a better, more capable educator and person. And even though I’ve been teaching my students all year, they have taught me in ways I could never have imagined. As you go into your classrooms next year, I challenge you to not only bring your Doug Lemov toolkit, but also an open heart and willingness to not only teach, but
learn from your students as well.

Posted on June 9, 2016 by Rebecca Rubin

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About Rebecca Rubin

Rebecca Rubin is a resident in the AUSL Chicago Teacher Residency program teaching 3rd grade English/Language Arts at Marquette School of Excellence in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood. Rebecca is originally from Skokie, Illinois and a graduate of University of Maryland where she majored in Public & Community Health.

The Chicago Teacher Residency is a full-time, yearlong urban teacher training program that equips residents with the training, skills, and strategies that will empower their students to pursue their dreams.

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