Theories Of Change
July 1, 2016
It takes a village to raise a child. It truly does. Reflection of the part one plays in that village is essential to ensure the success of said network. I work every day because of the community that is around me. I work harder because my colleagues push me to do so. I work tirelessly with my students in mind because their love demands of me to do so. My students have made gains because their families feel their voice being heard not only in my classroom, but in my school. We have a long way to go, but I can see and feel the difference in my school because of leadership through identity, culturally responsive teaching practices, and rooting everything we do in the community. The children are the solution to the problem and must be nourished and guided in that idea. Next year, I am excited to grow in my craft, listen to 60 more little personalities, learn from their innocence, and adapt to their needs. I will be bold in my practices and take risks with them. I will continue to heal, feed my soul, and grow in the love of my community.
4th Grade Teacher, Stevens Park Elementary School, Dallas ISD
I was recently offered an amazing opportunity to go teach and coach football at my old high school. I am excited to go work there, not only because it was the school I attended, but also because it is in Dallas ISD, so I will have two working experiences in different parts of Dallas to compare and contrast to hopefully learn about what can be done to help improve many of these low-income schools. Whether or not I continue to teach the rest of my life, I want to constantly advocate and recruit people to join in on helping with the problems our students face in low-income communities. More people need to be educated and informed on the problems that our students face, so that we can get more people involved in reaching the goal of educational equality.
Geometry Teacher, L.G. Pinkston High School, Dallas ISD
My unique role begins with serving as an ally, advocate, and leader for the parents of my students. I believe that in order to create transformational lasting change in my students, I must also invest their parents. I will serve to educate, communicate, and be transparent about the reality of their children against more affluent white students in order to motivate them to overcome obstacles. Being a consistent, teacher, leader, and organizer in my school and community is something I feel responsible to do for a lifetime. I am dedicated to serving, educating, inspiring, and leading my students and their families so they can continue to flourish and develop the campus, their neighborhoods, and most importantly their lives into what they feel is adequate and fulfilling.
1st Grade Teacher, T.A. Sims Elementary School, Fort Worth ISD
I greatly admire the value of Uplift Education to have every child get a college degree. Students going to college need to be well equipped academically, but I think just importantly equipped with life skills that will help them achieve once they are in college. One of those life skills that is most important is financial literacy. As a college graduate with a business administration degree, I think I could be a huge asset in helping kids and their parents become more financially literate. Students need the knowledge of how to make and use money wisely, from a young age. I think this could be a great way to bring in parent collaboration and a greater knowledge of financial literacy for families. I believe that by being financially literate, you are more aware of the world around you. You know how things work and how you can be an influence in that. This in itself is empowering.
2nd Grade Teacher, Infinity Preparatory, Uplift Education
In my current role as a teacher, I will continue working to educate my students and their parents on healthy foods and nutrition, support and coach for our sports/dance teams, and push for my students to advocate for their needs. I truly believe in the impact nutrition has on our students’ abilities to achieve their full potential. After teaching for a few more years, I would love to go into policy work surrounding the issues of nutrition and healthy living in schools. I want to use my background in science and global health—which has led me to pay attention to the way the food our students consume affects their performance—to either campaign for or write policy and conduct research that can help move legislation forward to improve nutrition in schools as well as in communities.
Bilingual Kindergarten Teacher, Edward Titche Elementary School, Dallas ISD