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Lynn Lalka Recruitment Specialist for teachNOLA

Lynn Lalka

Recruitment Specialist

Why do you think educators are so important right now?

I truly believe that people’s lives can be changed for the better by education. There are a lot of hardships and situations that students face outside of a classroom, but it is a powerful and beautiful thing to know that in school, with committed teachers, students can feel safe and supported. Education, and educators, can help change the trajectory of someone’s life. 

What impact have you seen this program have on the community?  

I heard about teachNOLA years before I started working here. Due to the nature of my work with another education-focused non-profit, I often ran into amazing educators, many of whom told me they were teachNOLA Fellows or alumni. I continued to run into these teachers who were implementing amazing things and bringing such passion and dedication into NOLA schools.  

teachNOLA began a few years after Hurricane Katrina, when the city so desperately needed people to commit to and invest in the city. Now, the children born at the time of Katrina are seniors in high school and have gone through so much. And while that feels really heavy, I am uplifted by the fact that there are so many teachNOLA alumni in the city that have dedicated themselves to the city’s youth. 

What makes this program so special? 

Our training model. Teaching is an extremely hard profession, and our team at teachNOLA brings so much education experience and care to the training and support that is provided to our Fellows. I often tell prospective Fellows that we can’t train them for everything they will encounter in a classroom. But the foundation we provide lets each Fellow walk confidently into a classroom and know that there will be a teachNOLA coach walking alongside them and supporting them every step of the way

What does justice in education mean to you? 

That every student is equipped with the tools they need to be their most successful, with the recognition that this support looks different for every single student. No student should be left behind for any reason. 

What keeps you motivated in this work?  

Everything I mentioned above! I believe in the program and the work we do. I believe that every student deserves and should receive all the resources they need to be successful. And I am inspired by the dedicated teachNOLA Fellows who are so committed to doing this work.