Why did you become an educator?
I became a teacher because I’ve always had a passion for youth in underserved communities. Teachers of color represent only 18 percent of the teaching population in the United States, and black teachers are seven percent of the teaching population. Throughout my education I didn’t have the opportunity to see teachers that looked like me. We all need role models who look like us and who understand us. We all need teachers to understand our unique experiences. We all need education to prepare us to lead productive lives and to lead us to a path of success.
Education opens the door for many opportunities, and unfortunately, so many of our children don’t have access to quality teachers and quality education. Becoming an Educator was me deciding to walk in my purpose. It’s important for children to know and to understand that despite their circumstances, education can take them on a road they couldn’t have even imagined.
What do you love about your school?
I love that my school is an agent for change. Working in a predominantly low income area is challenging and some days are harder than others. I wouldn’t change a thing. I am most grateful that my school prides itself on delivering quality education through a holistic approach to learning. It’s not just a place where teachers, staff and administrators are there for a paycheck.
I love my school because we all have one goal: Support our students and set them up for success. We understand the challenges our students face daily and our job is to make their learning environment safe and supportive. I love that my school does it’s best to accomplish this goal.
Why is it important that lower income children can attend schools of choice?
It’s important that lower income children can attend their school of choice for various reasons. Parents who exercise school choice frequently list school safety as one of their primary reasons for doing so. School safety is a particular concern in communities where violence is common. Children not having the opportunity to attend schools of choice leads to socioeconomic isolation and it has an impact on student learning and achievement outcomes. If children are granted access and resources needed to be successful the opportunities are endless.
A school of choice increases the involvement of parents in their child’s education and it gives the students an education that is designed to meet their needs. Graduation and success rates are higher within lower income areas for students who have the opportunity to attend their school of choice. It’s important that lower income children can attend schools of choice because everyone should have access to a quality and sustainable education.
Anything else you’d like to add?
As an educator, we may not be able to change policies in our educational system, but we have the power to change the students in our classroom.