Mr. Binet Transitions from SLC Director to Assistant Principal, English
Written by: Emily Ram and Tishanna Craddock, Junior Writers
Entering the building at 7:25 am, Mr. Binet sits at his desk to begin a new day. One English teacher who is struggling with his lesson plan comes in to ask Hillcrest’s new Assistant Principal of English for help, and Mr.Binet adds his input to make English as rigorous but engaging as it can be.
This is a different scenario than the one Mr. Binet faced as a SLC Director of Teachers of Tomorrow for the last several years. Helping over twenty English teachers prepare quality lesson plans for the new Common Core curriculum and prepare students for the new English Regents exam, Mr. Binet is striving for success in his first year as the AP of English at Hillcrest High School.
Former English Assistant Principal Mr. Morrison became the new school Principal last year after Mr. Duch retired, and Mr. Binet has taken the next step up the leadership ladder to make the ELA Department stronger for the Hillcrest High School student community. Mr. Binet tries his best to work with his teachers to share best practices to make the English curriculum accessible for students to gain a better understanding in rigorous texts. Teachers have begun to visit each other’s classrooms to begin to share ideas with one another.
When the new Common Core Standards for English arrived in the 2013 school year, Mr. Binet selected readings to keep students challenged in the classroom. He believes the new Common Core curriculum forces students to have “better communication with each other, read more closely, and understanding reading better with inspiration.”
His hope for students is that by June he can grab any particular student from any SLC and hear their experiences with English on becoming better readers, stories of students coming out of their comfort zone to tackle diverse and challenging readings while being able to read them without any problem. “Students should expect to become more engaged in their classes with more emphasis on challenging and rigorous reading choices to develop reading skills and writing skills at the end of the year,” said Mr. Binet.
Being a former Teachers of Tomorrow Director for 7 years, Mr. Binet cannot compare it to the qualities and certifications of being an English Assistant Principal. “They are two completely different jobs,” he said. A Director of a Small Learning Community deals with supporting students’ ability to graduate with teachers of all subjects and all community building aspects of the program. An Assistant Principal works with one Department of teachers around lesson planning, curriculum development, teacher observations, and Regents exams.
He has a large job on his hands to make students become better readers and for teachers to understand and teach the curriculum, but the one Director experience he takes to help him attain this job is his ability to relate to students. When he was a Director, he had spoken with many students and were able to get to know them personally. He takes this same practice to help him out with his journey as an English AP. “I usually try to know students personally, to actually get to know them. I was once in their shoes dealing with difficult life struggles. Academically, even if they have difficulty with a subject, I can connect with them.”
As an Assistant Principal, he does not only tries to make the english tasks rigorous but intriguing for students, but to also connect with students in a way to understand us better. In fact, you should have read “A Message to Garcia” and “Lebron James’ I’m Coming Home” in your English classes as they were chosen to be relatable and also rigorous at the same time. Mr. Binet tries his best to get students to understand the articles in a way that would engage students so that they can relate to it.
Mr. Morrison believes that these qualities allow for Mr. Binet to excel at his job. “Mr. Binet was selected to be the Assistant Principal because he is not only an excellent teacher, but he is a dynamic leader who has the capacity to move the English Teachers through the challenges presented by the Common Core Standards. Mr. Binet has a deep knowledge of the curriculum as well as the pedagogical shifts that are necessary to ensure the success of the English Teachers and the students they serve.”
Mr. Binet’s personal life has motivated him to pursue a career as an educator. When he was a teenager, Binet played sports. He would then help kids by creating his own games so that they understood it better. Mr. Binet would show them new methods and new routines to get to understand the game. Mr. Binet saw how successful he was at helping others, which inspired him to help students find new ways to understand reading and writing.
In his sophomore year of high school, Mr. Binet had a very inspiring teacher who made him feel like he can inspire others. He became a teacher just after four years of college at the age of twenty-one earning three degrees. In his free time, Binet enjoys boxing, spending time with his son, and being a father in general.
When he is in need of advice, Binet goes to his mother and sister who are his support system. He also turns to Assistant Principal of Foreign Language Mr. Follyga when he needs advice in school.
Mr. Binet's life at home ties with his hard-working nature in Hillcrest. He works hard as a dad and has his life on a simple slate and tries to be the best he can be. Mr. Binet hopes to be an inspiration to his staff and their students.