GGSE: What one thing about teaching do you wish you could share with more people?
Maureen Claffey: People think that teaching is this big, dramatic series of transformations when, in reality, it's all about being there for students over and over again and the learning happens in minuscule moments of discovery that are easily missed, lost or forgotten. Showing up everyday is the hardest part, but that's where the real work happens.

GGSE: Tell us about one of your fondest Teacher Education Program memories.
Claffey: I will never forget the look of empathy I would get from another Teacher Candidate when we walked into our college classes, after an exhausting day of teaching. Without speaking, we could relate and read each other. There were so few people that truly understood the depth of our challenge this year, and being able to talk, laugh, discuss and disagree with this astounding group of humans made this journey a delight. I will miss this cohort of future teachers immensely.

GGSE: What's next for you?
Claffey: I have accepted a teaching position for 5th and 6th grade at Vista De Las Cruces School in Gaviota, a tiny, one-school district on the Gaviota coast north of Santa Barbara, with two other Teacher Education Program grads from this year. I'm excited and nervous to focus on my own classroom now!

GGSE: Are there people at the Gevirtz School you would like to thank?
Claffey: I would like to thank everyone, especially Sam who walked me through the application process and held my hand as I joined a college classroom after a long absence. A special shout-out to all the instructors and colleagues with kids who sympathized over fevers, playdates, missed dinners, and so much more. My deepest gratitude to all my fantastic teachers and especially my advisor, Erin Vernon, who always steered my ship back on course, when it got tossed by storms.

Maureen Claffey and her family