Accomplishing the Mission
Posted December 11, 2015 by Christopher Marro
Christopher Marro is a Biology teacher at Sierra High School in Colorado Springs, CO and a 2014 Teach For America corps member. Prior to teaching, Chris served in the U.S. Army for 10 years as an Armor Crewman and an Army Recruiter.
If you could sum up my life in one word, it would be service– service to my country, service to my community, and service to my students. And as we honor those who have served in the Armed Forces on Veterans Day, I am reminded of the invaluable skills and knowledge I attained in the military that shaped my servant mindset.
During my time in the Army, I learned two essential aspects of service are dedication to your mission and ensuring the welfare of your Soldiers. As an Army Recruiter, I helped a lot of students achieve their dream of being in the military. But, I knew I could do more for those students who didn’t aspire to be in the military, or didn’t qualify. I knew that if I was able to teach, then my impact could be two-fold. I could show students how the military impacted my life and prepare them for college and career, even if the military wasn’t their preferred pathway.
After learning about Teach For America’s Military Veterans Outreach and Support Initiative, I knew it was time to further my service. I decided to dedicate myself to the mission of educational equity and ensure the welfare of our most precious treasures–our kids.
In the military we are trained to endure any and all hardships to accomplish our mission. As a teacher, I am able to leverage my strength in leadership and experiences from the Army, and though the mission may be different, the end goal remains the same.
At Sierra High School, my goal is to ensure that my students pass their classes, graduate, and reach their potential. And together, my students and I will endure anything—long hours, obstacles, and challenges—to accomplish these objectives. In a world where we are constantly faced with negative headlines and deficit-based narratives of our youth, I am inspired by the students living out the pursuit of excellence.
From 100 percent of Sierra High graduating seniors who received college acceptance letters to the 1.2 million dollars in scholarships and the 700 college credits they collectively earned, these students committed to accomplishing our shared mission. They come to school every day because they want to learn and because they have teachers who believe in them.
My colleagues and I genuinely care about our students and want to ensure they are able to be their best selves inside and outside of the classroom. It’s more than test scores and a job to us. Just like in the military, the strength of your team is vital to the success of the mission, and at Sierra High, our team of teachers holds one another accountable. We come together to ensure we all have effective tools and resources and are working in an environment where everyone can achieve.
But, we can’t do this alone. We need more people to join us on this mission. Whether through Teach For America, Troops to Teachers, or more traditional pathways—we need you. We need teachers who are going to come into this field with the dedication and fortitude to take on the fight against educational inequity. Together, we can ensure all students are afforded the opportunity to succeed and accomplish their missions in life.