June 27, 2018
June was an exciting month at Teach For America Miami-Dade. We launched our second Miami Dade Regional Institute at Barry University, a six-week training for all new TFA Miami-Dade, Orlando and Jacksonville teachers. We came together to celebrate our network at two very special points in their journey — joining the corps and becoming alumni! Read more about these events below.
FUELING OUR MOVEMENT - ALUMNI INDUCTION
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On Monday June 4th, we gathered for Fueling Our Movement and watched the 2016 corps members walk across the stage and become newly inducted alumni. We celebrated these 65 leaders for having completed their two-year AmeriCorps commitment and for the next steps they will take in their careers to work toward educational equity. The majority of our alumni will remain in the field of education, serving as excellent teachers and transformational school leaders, while some will address inequality through social innovation, entrepreneurship, public policy, law, nonprofit leadership and even health and medicine.
New alumna, Romy Ginsberg (Miami-Dade’16), explains why she chose to pursue a PhD in School Psychology,
“After completing two years in the classroom, I realized that I wanted to stay in the field of education, but in a different career. During my time teaching, I connected with my students on a deep level. In doing so, I recognized that some of my incredible students were not getting the special attention they needed in a regular classroom setting. As a school psychologist, I will not only get to work in a school setting, but I will also impact children’s lives on a different level.”
Hiram Martinez-Cabrera explains why he is choosing to stay in his current classroom,
"Just like a good book, each continuing chapter explores the power and impact the protagonist holds in their world. I am returning to the classroom as Mr. MC to challenge and support the great students at Miami Central Senior High School to exploring their power and impact. Teaching writing and english literature grants me the freedom and toolkit to bring together the student's collective narrative to push their vision forward."
Abbe Petuchowski will work in education technology as a digital curriculum Content Specialist, an interest she discovered in her classroom,
“This August, I will start working at Nearpod as a Content Specialist. Through this role, I will help Nearpod create lessons that engage students with interactive technology. During my experience teaching, I saw the impact that technology can have in the classroom, which peaked my interest in educational software. Even though I will not be in the classroom next year, I am excited that I will still have the opportunity to impact classrooms through the power of educational technology.”
Jennifer Carino was inspired by her school principal to pursue school leadership,
“I am choosing to pursue school leadership, because I have seen how much of a difference a school’s atmosphere has when a strong and positive figure is leading it. Everyone is present and ready to happily learn new things. I aspire to lead a school to greatness and be that strong, black, female, authority figure who brings a light into her school. I want my students to feel as though they can see themselves in me and believe that one day, they too, can achieve their goals. I want to be able to create an atmosphere where both students and staff put their best foot forward and look forward to coming into the building everyday to strive for greatness by achieving through their education. The idea of being able to create a joyous community of learners reminds me everyday how important this job is. My current principal embodies just this, bringing us from an F school all the way to a B. I hope to one day to be a leader like he is.”
WE THRIVE TOGETHER - WELCOMING NEW CORPS MEMBERS
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On Friday, June 8th, we welcomed the 2018 corps members at our We THRIVE Together event. Our new teachers from Miami-Dade, Jacksonville and Orlando heard inspiring words from speakers including Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and Teach For America CEO, Elisa Villanueva Beard.
Beard gave three inspirational pieces of advice to new corps members:
- "Remember you are not alone."
- "Refuse to lose hope in what you know your students are capable of achieving."
- "Anchor yourself in the truth of what our students are up against."
Alberto Carvahlo commended the corps on their commitment to education,
“You’re here because you believe that the future of America is brighter because of what you decide to do here today. Your passion, commitment, and talent will prove invaluable to kids in this school system and across the country.”
Energized by the experience, our new corps members shared their excitement for joining Teach For America's movement:
“I studied public policy while I was in college, and I spent a lot of time learning about all of the problems that affect society. I kept coming to the same conclusion over and over again, which was that the best way to tackle these issues was through providing an excellent, equitable education for the next generation of our country. What I’m looking forward to the most about teaching is building relationships with my students that authentic and empowering. I want to make sure they know they have someone in their school who they can rely on to support them academically and otherwise.” -Brian Lynn (Miami-Dade ‘18)
“My teachers were the reason I actually ended up in college. It was their praises and effort towards believing in me that helped me get this far. Now I want to do the same for students who came from similar situations like me.” -Anayansy Hernandez (Miami-Dade ‘18)
“Out of all the roles I’ve tried, nothing felt as gratifying as working in a school. The mission of TFA is directly aligned with how I see myself working in the education world, and I feel free to express myself and my ideas.” -Trevor Madore (Miami-Dade ‘18)
June was an inspiring, once a year opportunity to witness new corps members and new alumni, at two different places in their journeys, but connected by an overarching passion for educational equity. We are proud of our network and we look forward to seeing how they will create a lasting impact on education in Miami-Dade.