Jackie Leung, a 2012 Teach for America Corps Member in Los Angeles, sees a lot of congruence in the mission and work of the national organization that brought her to teaching and the organization where she continues to teach today, Green Dot Public Schools.
“Green Dot is a great organization for teachers who want to make a change in education,” she says.
“They expect more from their teachers and in return, their students tend to see more academic growth when compared to neighboring schools. They hold educators accountable for good teaching and have systems set in place to promote a positive learning community on all campuses.”
Teachers Teaching Teachers
Prior to teaching, Jackie was an International Business major at the University of Denver graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2012. She entered the Teach for America Credentialing Program through Loyola Marymount University.
Jackie currently teaches Biology at Ánimo Watts Preparatory Academy, her placement school as a TFA corps member. In order to improve her craft, Jackie is taking advantage of the opportunities for teachers to collaborate with other teachers within disciplines. Green Dot provides the time and support for teachers to work with one another to develop curriculum, share strategies, and plan lessons.
“I think that the greatest tool to improve my teaching is the opportunity to partner with other science teachers within Green Dot” says Jackie.
Over the years that Jackie has worked for Ánimo Watts Preparatory Academy, she has seen the needs of teachers being met by ever-changing professional development sessions. Teacher-driven sessions are planned in accordance with the most pressing issues at the time.
Green Dot works to ensure that those students who most need access to excellent educators are consistently taught by the best in the profession. In Green Dot schools, where students commonly enter in the lowest 10% of academic proficiency, advancing a student a single grade level per year isn’t enough to ensure timely graduation. Therefore, we define high-quality teaching as the ability to accelerate student learning and close the achievement gap for students in low-income communities. In placing high-quality instruction at the heart of our model, we are committed to recruiting, training, and supporting the very best teachers to professional excellence.
Teach for America is known for its mission to enlist, develop, and mobilize as many of the country’s most promising future leaders as possible to strengthen efforts to raise educational equity and excellence. Jackie sees the same dedication among her colleagues at Green Dot.
“Here we continually push teachers to improve upon and refine their teaching craft,” she says.
“There’s never a point at Green Dot where I feel that my job is finished or that I’ve reached a point of stagnation. Teachers are encouraged and given the opportunity to collaborate among all school sites across the Green Dot network and to learn from each other so that we can all be the best possible teachers.
“Green Dot also encourages its teachers to teach with a culturally responsive approach so that all students can achieve success in college, leadership, and life. Green Dot provides me with the necessary support to help my students access all aspects of the curriculum and to differentiate within my classroom to support the needs of all learning levels and types” Jackie says.
The Teach for America 25th Anniversary Summit will bring together thousands for professional development sessions and networking. More than 30 Green Dotters will be attending the event and we will be hosting a booth (#517) in the Exhibitors’ Hall.