Adrienne W.

Cohort 2010
Washington, DC
Center City Public Charter Schools
Curriculum Manager

I went to George Washington and majored in international affairs. During my senior year, I worked in a kindergarten classroom three times a week with D.C. Reads and I realized I loved teaching. I wanted to stay in D.C. to teach. I knew that the schools were some of the worst in the country, and part of the problem is that teachers are so transient there. I wanted to stay and teach.

I was thrilled when I found Urban Teachers. I knew a summer of teaching prep wouldn’t be enough. I didn’t want to just be thrown into a classroom with children and not be able to do right by them. I wanted to find out how to be an effective teacher, not a babysitter or a sage on a stage.

My residency year I spent at Center City Brightwood in a third grade classroom. I had an amazing host teacher. After my residency, they hired me as the first grade lead teacher. I was at Brightwood for six years. It was nice to be at the same school for my entire tenure. I was a family engagement lead and took part in several fellowships. Urban Teachers prepared me for that. You learn how to manage a workload for sure, but it also sets you up with the right mindset and tools.

There was always a really strong Urban Teachers presence at Brightwood; it really made an impact on our school community. You can really spot those who come with Urban Teachers training and experience. There’s that culture of being data-driven and focused on continual improvement.

Last year was my first year as a curriculum manager at our central office for the charter system. It’s been really interesting. I’ve been able to go to different conferences around the country and see what the issues are. Being growth-oriented, improvement oriented has really set me up to try new things. But I miss students every day. I miss the coziness of a classroom. It’s a world. It’s home. I try to go back there a couple times a month and I always make a point to stop in and see my former students.