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.
Social Studies Teacher, Rainier Valley Leadership Academy Middle School
What brought you to Green Dot Washington? How long have you been teaching?
I taught for one year on the Dominican Republic before moving to Seattle. I have some experience working as an assistant and as a lead teacher in summer enrichment programs, but this is my first year teaching full-time in the United States.
I’m a Teach For America (TFA) Corps Member, and being a TFA Corps Member who teaches in Seattle proper is a rare opportunity. I feel very lucky.
Why did you decide to become a teacher?
My mother distrusted the public school system so much that she worked hard as a single mother to pay for Catholic school and advocated hard to put me on a path for private high schools and private colleges (with scholarships). At the prep school that I attended, I remember looking around and wondering how I (black and working-class from a Dominican immigrant family) ended up in a bastion of wealth in NYC. Nothing gave me more of a right to a beautiful campus and a quality education than my peers at home. Attending these schools made me realize that they were not meant for people like me.
All of this came at a high emotional, spiritual cost; I was displaced in the name of “college access” and “opportunity.” It all made me believe in the power of education in community, education among ourselves as marginalized people (of any kind), despite lack of resources and lack of protection. Public school students in under-served areas deserve teachers who will lay the groundwork for students’ visions for themselves and who will stay.
What do enjoy most about working here?
The team at RVLA is very honest and supportive. My team has really been holding me down, even by just taking me as I am in my first-year teacher struggles. When I am tired and struggling to be fully present as a co-worker/friend, I still feel so loved here. Any time I ask for help, I feel understood and get the support that I need. Our culture as a team is really beautiful.
How or why does the GD mission of serving all students resonate with your personal values?
I serve my belief in radical transformative change by pushing every day to meet the needs of all students. It has always been important for young people to recognize their own power & magic and to think for themselves. I’m honored to be part of this work.
More stories from our Washington teachers
“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
“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