In college, I volunteered on Spring Break mission trips to urban neighborhoods in St. Louis and New Orleans. During my time, I provided homework assistance and tutoring to local students. I enjoyed the experience, however, as soon as I began to form good relationships with the students, I had to grudgingly return back to my own college campus. I often wondered if my visits did more harm than good. Students benefit from consistent support throughout their academic career, not just a few short days during their spring break vacation. I longed for an opportunity to serve these students long-term. I wanted to inspire students, invest in their lives, and be a change agent for the community. I was excited to learn of the Dallas Teacher Residency program and see how closely it’s core values aligned with my personal beliefs.
I applied for the Dallas Teacher Residency program to receive the preparation, training, and on-going support on how to effectively teach in an urban school environment. I’ve learned a lot from my graduate courses so far, on topics of multicultural education, technology integration, and the importance of high teacher expectations. I am excited to put classroom theory into practice during my residency year at North Dallas High School.
My mentor, Mrs. Naig, has over 20 years of experience as a math teacher. During our tour of the high school campus, one of her former students rushed to embrace her in the hallway. It was clear that she had established great relationships with her students.
As I begin my residency year, I am reminded of a quote discussed in one of my education courses: “Teachers aren’t born, they’re created”. Although I have a passion for teaching and a desire to see all students receive and equal and equitable education, passion alone will not get the task done. The graduate courses, classroom teaching experiences, mentor relationships, and the constructive feedback will all aid in my journey to become an effective teacher. I’ve already seen a few students around campus before school has started. Their presence serve as constant reminders that school is literally right around the corner.
By: Cynthia Green
Dallas Teacher Residency Cohort 1 Resident (Secondary Math)