Why did you choose to apply for Indianapolis Teaching Fellows?
Indianapolis Teaching Fellows does an incredible job of preparing teachers for the realities of first-year teaching. I walked into my classroom confident and ready to teach on day one.
What was your pre-service training experience like, and how did it prepare you for the classroom?
Indianapolis Teaching Fellows really prepares you to manage a classroom. I already knew my content backwards and forwards, but training developed the skills I needed to teach it.
What made summer training so helpful is that we learned by actually practicing. By the end of the summer I felt like I had gone through every possible scenario that could happen in the classroom.
But even though I built up my skills and confidence considerably, I never once felt complacent because people were always pushing me to do my best.
Why do you think it is important to teach right now?
I expect a lot from our students because I know from personal experience how powerful high expectations can be.
My high school, where almost all students were African American and low income, was in academic emergency every year. People didn’t expect a lot from us, and the norm in most classes was getting decent grades for minimal effort.
My 10th-grade English class was different. The teacher refused to let us off the hook and continually pushed us to do better.
So when I hear complaints like, “You want us to do WHAT?! That’s too much,” I tell students about my English teacher. I tell them that, like her, I do not require hard work because I am mean, but because I know what they are capable of.