Transformational Leader: Bailey Lowe
April 14, 2021
Bailey Lowe is a lifelong Tennesseean, currently residing in New Orleans, LA. She was born and raised in Chattanooga and attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville. As the child of an educator, she’s always been passionate about the effect that a good education can have on someone’s life, as well as all the factors that contribute to a child’s educational experience. Currently she works at IDEA Oscar Dunn in New Orleans East and lives in Metairie with her sweet miniature schnauzer.
Bailey is a 2019 corps member and has had the opportunity to become more involved with her community. This year, Bailey partnered with the social worker at IDEA to create an afterschool girls’ program of which she is extremely proud. For the past month, fifth through seventh grade girls have been reading through Brown Girl Dreaming, a book of poetry by Jacqueline Woodson. They have been exploring topics like identity, intersectionality, and the impact that the Great Migration had on Black culture. They also use the space to strengthen ELA skills like poetry analysis, discovering the author's purpose, and writing with a purpose.
Bailey’s students know that her classroom is a place for healing, self-reflection, and managing their emotions. She has intentionally crafted her classroom as a place that promotes peace; she only uses the colors blue, green, and yellow in her décor, she keeps lavender air freshener as a calming scent, and she dedicates a lot of time to social-emotional skills. For example, she once explained to her students that crocheting is a way for her to manage her anxiety, and they were so interested in learning themselves that she bought them all yarn and crochet hooks in the colors of their choice. The students spent the next week learning how to crochet and discussing how they can use their hands and bodies in positive ways to help them calm down in high-stress situations. To this day, she sees students—boys and girls alike—get upset or nervous and take out their yarn to help bring themselves back down to earth.
More than anything, Bailey wants her students to leave her classroom feeling loved and confident in their ability to take on the world. She hopes that her students have a level of self-love and self-esteem that no one can take away from them. At the end of the day, she can teach them facts about ancient civilizations or how to identify rhyme schemes in a poem, but if they don’t understand who they are, why they matter, and how they can manage themselves, they won’t be successful. Ultimately, she wants to teach students to become good humans no matter what path they decide to take in the future.