Why do you think educators are so important right now?
Students need educators! They need people who are not going to quit or run. They need people who are to fight for them. They need people who are going to look past what’s in front of them and see the potential of a bright future! They need people who are not going to do what is easy…but what is right.
What impact have you seen this program have on the community?
BCTR produces more than just teachers. It produces lasting leaders! Some of our teachers have been in the classroom for 10+ years, while others have moved to become principals, assistant principals, literacy/math coaches, teacher of the year, model teachers…and the list goes on. This shows that our impact moves from the classroom to leadership, which then impacts the entire school community.
Our longevity speaks to our impact. We have been in existence for 20 years—serving, committing to, and impacting our Baltimore City gems: our students!
What makes this program so special?
There is a deep sense of community with BCTR, and our Residents know we care. There is this buzzing joy factor that moves throughout our program with each person who connects with us. While certifying Residents to teach is a priority, creating a safe space and support system means just as much. We lead through a people-first lens, but set and hold Residents to high expectations. We are that warm demander at its best, and that is what sets apart from other programs.
What does justice in education mean to you?
It means access. Our students deserve to have consistent access to effective, caring, culturally responsive teachers. Our students deserve to have consistent access to rigorous, grade-appropriate content. Our students deserve to have consistent access to life-changing experiences in and out of the classroom.
What keeps you motivated in this work?
I am a proud Baltimore City native, a product of the Baltimore City Public Schools system, a former Baltimore City Public Schools teacher, and an alumna of the Baltimore City Teaching Residency program. It’s those deep connections that ignite the passion I have for Baltimore’s Black and Brown students. For me, this is heart-work, and I don’t have the option to quit!