My name is Jeremy Lenzi and I am an English, Journalism and Yearbook Teacher/Adviser for the Greensburg Salem School District, located in Greensburg, PA. GS is a suburban school district that currently enrolls a little under 1,000 students in grades 9-12. I am currently in my 20th year of teaching at GS and prior to this I taught for three and a half years for the Franklin Regional School District in Murrysville, PA.
Currently, I teach Honors English 10, English 10 (each focuses on both literature and writing), Mass Media I-III (ranging from Intro to the actual production of our school’s newspaper) and Yearbook (we currently publish a Spring Delivered, 208 page all color book). In the past, I have taught just about all levels of English, with the exception of seniors.
I am inspired daily by my students and I wonder if any other profession truly enables this. There are few things I enjoy more than speaking about literature and hearing another’s opinion on the topic. Learning daily is a wonderful by-product of this profession.
Many times in my career I have said the following: Things couldn’t be better when I’m in the room and the door’s closed. And this is unfortunate. I was feeding into the whole us vs. them mentality that is often created between administrators and teachers. So I’m trying to move beyond this and have been doing a lot of reading on how to work to reform what is going on in our industry, if you will. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. There’s not a doubt in my mind that I’ve been part of the problem in the past – I want to become part of the solution.
I believe that all students are able to improve through hard work, just as I believe that all teachers are able to do the same thing. Our district maintains a pretty simple philosophy that has been driven by a former Superintendent: Effort Creates Ability. I couldn’t agree with this more. It’s my job to foster this effort, and I work hard to do this on a daily basis.
I believe that everybody in our industry should be held accountable – but I refuse to believe that high stakes testing is the way to determine this accountability. Rather than teaching our students how to learn, we are instead teaching our students how to fill out circles better than any other country on earth. And this is sad (incidentally, it just might be influencing our cement shoes like drop in the world’s education rankings). We need to inspire, we need to create and we need to demand excellence from our students of all levels. Our country wasn’t built on the premise of laziness.
I will continue to update this as I get more time…