We asked one of our 2nd-year corps members, Brittany Bradshaw, to share some reflections on being in the classroom. We dare you to read this and NOT feel totally motivated by her passion and commitment.
March 9, 2018
Corps Year: 2016
Placement School: Penrose Elementary
Subject/Grades: 2-6, Special Education
Favorite Quote: "It is better to be a first-rate version of yourself than a second rate version of someone else" - Judy Garland
What’s one thing you’ve learned from your students since you’ve been in the classroom?
My students have taught me to keep trying. As much as I push them to try hard things, and to push for things that are difficult, they have taught me to do the same with my teaching. There are days when it all clicks, but there are more days when they leave the room and I have to rethink some things and make changes. In my first year at this school, doing that constantly made me feel inconsistent and disheveled. I later realized that, while constantly changing things made me uncomfortable, I was getting closer and closer to meeting the needs of every child each day- which means much more than my own comfort.
What’s been the most rewarding aspect of being in the classroom?
Being in the classroom is great. Being a special education teacher is especially rewarding. My kids were the underdogs- counted out by teachers, peers and themselves. I have cried, on more than one occasion, when a colleague has stopped me in the hallway to tell me that the kid who was too scared to raise her hand in class answered some questions today, or that a child who was reading two years below level is now at level and does not require major modifications anymore. It makes my heart smile to know that I have done something to make school more accessible and meaningful for more children.
Why are you passionate about educational equity?
Educational equity is the most important work that I could commit my talents to. People of color have been disenfranchised since we were brought to this country, and though laws have changed, our communities continue to be plagued with so many social ills. This is by design. As a person of color, I believe that it is my duty to do whatever I can to positively affect the world around me. Also, educational equity is one of the biggest ways that we can move towards ‘leveling the playing field’. Providing access to information and opportunities to people who might have otherwise been denied them is my contribution to the world.