PROGRAM — Charter School

Why did you become an educator?

I became an educator due to the love and passion that I have always had for education. Growing up, I was always the student that loved going to school, learning and being a part of an environment where I could grow as an individual while learning what community truly meant. The teachers that I had pushed me to better, learn more and were dedicated to watering me, their plant, to blossom and bloom.

My teachers were resilient and would always go above and beyond for me, showing selflessness and compassion for their students. As I grew older, I realized that teaching was the field for me and that I would not want to do anything but to make a difference and have a positive impact on children as they navigate through life. To know that I could make a difference, no matter how big or small. To know that I could shape someone’s life positively and show them that no matter what adversity or background they come from, that they can do whatever it is they put their minds to. That is why I became an educator.

What do you love about your school?

What do I love about my school? I love the culture of the school, from the unity shown in the school uniforms that we wear daily, to the sense of togetherness that we all possess. No matter what situation arises, everyone is always “all hands-on deck” and there for each other. There is no doubt in my mind that if an emergency were to occur what would happen or who would do what because we all pitch in to help in whatever way we can and with a quickness.

At my school, Wayman Academy of the Arts, we embody family along with genuine care and support for each other, our students and their families. Secondly, I love how my school incorporates meaningful events throughout the school year, circling back to the rich culture of the school. Whether it be a black history month, family night, or our monthly principal’s club (based off student’s I-Ready gains and performance) I love how we try to get people as involved as possible.

Why is it important that lower income children can attend schools of choice?

It is imperative that lower income children can attend schools of their choice so that they have exposure to experiences that they may not be able to get from their neighborhood school. With free choice comes the opportunity for students to truly gain an education that is tailored to their specific needs. For example, if a child is very artistic, they will truly never be able to explore that domain if art programs and classes are not provided at their neighborhood school. The same situation applies to students that have learning disabilities. Without school choice, these students are forced to attend schools in the area that may or may not be tailored to how they best learn.

Anything else you’d like to add? 

All in all, I would like to say that becoming an educator has given me a new set of eyes of how I see the world. It has made me step outside of myself and put myself in the shoes of my students and the path that they are on in their educational journey. Knowing that I am in a position where I can make a positive impact in a child’s life and influence their decisions, behaviors, and attitude towards learning lights up my world. For example, one day, student A needed to retrieve something from his book bag when students where lining up and he pushed his way between two students to get there. Student B looked at student A and said “please use your manners and say excuse me instead of pushing. I don’t like it when you push me.” In this moment I knew why it all mattered, why I was teaching.

The smile on a child’s face when they finally understand a concept is why teaching is my calling. From the ah-ha moments, to the “Ms. Johnson can I please explain how to do this problem to the class.” All the moments, no matter how small or big, fun or serious, are why I’m all in.

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