Creating an Environment of High Expectations and Encouragement
Shortly after recess, Ms. Sunny Sinco’s students at Destiny Middle School in Tacoma, Washington hurry into class and prepare themselves for a lesson in Social Studies. This is Sinco’s fifth year of teaching and she shows an unparalleled amount of enthusiasm as she engages her students in her latest Social Studies lesson. “My journey into education isn’t necessarily what keeps me in the classroom”, she says.
The drive to close the opportunity gap
“During my first year of teaching, my younger brother was a 7th grader in the high performing school in Puget Sound,” Sinco said. “It was interesting to see how I have the same high standards and expectations for my students as his teachers have for him. She noticed the opportunity gaps that existed for her students and her brother’s peers. Ms. Sinco states the importance of creating equal opportunity for students and how that opportunity starts in the classroom.
In Ms. Sinco’s class, it’s easy to see how personally connected she feels with her students. When students express confusion, Ms. Sinco responds immediately with encouragement. As students start to piece together the answers, it is clear that the instant feedback from Ms. Sinco instills confidence in her students.
Representing Destiny in every lesson
“Destiny is a place where people work everyday to be the best versions of themselves. All the teachers are doing what it takes to be successful,” says Sinco. “We are always trying to innovate and connect with parents with new and different ways to teach their students. The barriers are removed and everything is on the table.”
In each of Ms. Sinco classes, she teaches students to evaluate the experts and leaders in our society. Students are taught to question and to think critically about the choices made by these leaders; supporting the idea that we can learn from one another’s decisions even if they don’t agree with our own ideals. Critical thinking is something that is built into every lesson plan at Destiny.
“I hope that my students will leave my class with the critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate the world around them,” Ms. Sinco states.
Ms Sinco’s students will continue to develop the necessary skills to be successful in her class and beyond. She knows that every student can succeed in college, leadership and life. It’s this unwavering commitment to her students and the Destiny community that’s helping to close historic opportunity gaps.