The Genesis Story
Genesis did not exist until 2005. Prior to AEWC, I (Derek) was an engineer and a computer programmer, working in various systems design positions from NASA to Los Alamos National Laboratory to Sony Pictures Imageworks. After all those years I wanted to get away from computer screens and connect with people, which is why I got my Adult Teaching Credential.
When I became an AEWC teacher in 2004, I found I couldn’t effectively do my job, nor could the teacher beside me. When I observed other AEWC sites, I saw the same challenge everywhere. It was maddening. Kids were falling through the cracks and it was breaking my heart because there was too much information to manage and too little time. I couldn’t stay on top of where my students were, what they needed to graduate, what the plan was for each different student, where they were in their plan (if there was one, and there usually wasn’t), and what to do if they veered off track. On more than two occasions I witnessed the same student doing the same exact contract twice because he, and the teacher (once myself, once the other teacher), forgot that he had already done it a year ago. I realized that any brief moments of teaching were moot if I couldn’t continually stay on top of where all my students were at. That’s why, in my off hours, I built Genesis from scratch in the first place, and why it was designed primarily as a counseling and support tool for teachers as opposed to a database for administrators or and the “back office”.
Genesis has been flying under the radar for eight years, making a huge difference to the teachers and OCs in the trenches, with me and Julio taking care of everything so well that those who don’t use it don’t even know it exists. I know its value in my gut because I know what it’s like to teach in AEWC without Genesis.