Our teachers bring with them a diversity of experiences critical to preparing students for college, leadership, and life. At Green Dot Public Schools Washington, we often teach our students that it’s important to consider the people they surround themselves with — friends can inform your future. Similarly, we know how important it is for adults to be surrounded by a supportive network of intelligent, passionate, and hardworking colleagues.
In addition, all teachers participate in weekly, data-driven professional development and collaboration, led by teacher leaders and instructional coaches. Supports and growth opportunities like these, as well as a shared dedication to serving the communities of Seattle, Tacoma, and Kent, are what brought educators like sixth grade English Language Arts teacher Meaghan Anderson to Rainier Valley Leadership Academy Middle School.
6th Grade English/Language Arts, Rainier Valley Leadership Academy Middle School
What brought you to Green Dot Washington? How long have you been teaching?
While out on maternity leave last year, I realized that my next teaching position needed to be one that married both sides of my career goals: working in a school with significant coaching structures, and working in a school that is dedicated to changing how underserved communities experience education.
I found Green Dot through some old TFA friends and was hooked as soon as I met with the admin team who was recruiting. I have been teaching, whether it be lecturing undergrads, teaching math at an independent school, or elementary at a charter, for the last decade. What I have found is that Green Dot best aligns with my own personal goals as an educator and person.
Why did you decide to become a teacher?
I decided to become a teacher because I am happiest when learning. I love watching students make connections and construct their own truths, and facilitating this process is the most gratifying thing I’ve done so far.
What motivates you to come to work every morning?
I am motivated to be my best every day because that’s what our students deserve and it is what we owe to them as well.
Any day when it starts to become about me (and of course, it sometimes does for everyone, it’s the human condition), I remind myself that my classroom is for them, about them, built around them, and designed to cultivate their success, not mine.
How or why does the GD mission of serving all students resonate with your personal values?
I was not a student who was always served by my educational experiences. Often relegated to a back corner so as not to disturb the students who were able to learn while sitting at desks, I didn’t become the learner that I am today until very late in the game. In many ways, it took until the tail end of my doctorate program to realize that I’m a stronger writer and critical thinker. Many, many students grow up learning and relearning a narrative about themselves that simply is not the full picture. Green Dot is helping all students see themselves as capable of learning and change, and I’m so proud to be part of the team.
More stories from our Washington teachers
“I love everything about my job. My students push me to think hard and ask big questions, my colleagues make me laugh and share feedback that helps me grow, and every so often I have a conversation with a parent or another community member who reminds me how vital this school is to building up this community that is so dear to my heart.”
— MEAGHAN ANDERSONRainier Valley Leadership Academy Middle School
“My relentless belief in all students’ potential and my pursuit of excellence motivate me to come to work each day. Our students have so much potential and opportunity ahead of them. Our job is to channel that potential through exciting lessons, high expectations and college-going culture so that each student may realize their full potential.”
— CLAIRE FINDERSRainier Valley Leadership Academy Middle School