Antoinette S.

Cohort 2012
Washington, DC
Two Rivers Public Charter School
Fifth Grade Teacher

One of the great benefits of Urban Teachers is the residency year, the year to work with someone who is well-versed in education. It gives you the space and time to practice all the things that it takes to be a great teacher.

Once I had my own classroom, I knew how to handle classroom management, so I was able to set myself up for success, to establish relationships with students and families and create a culture of collaboration in my classroom. Hearing all the ideas the other members of my cohort were coming up with helped too.

In those fellowship years, I was getting coaching from my Urban Teachers coach and my school coach, so I was getting twice as much coaching as other teachers on my team.

The experience I got from Urban Teachers helped my school leaders see I was an asset. I was a grade level lead in my first year as a teacher. In my second year, I was a host teacher. And in my third year, I was able to participate in another fellowship that enabled me to travel the country and see innovative programs that I could try in my own classroom. I’ve also been a mentor to other Urban Teachers fellows and a supervisor of the mentorship program.

Once I finished my four years, I had originally planning to go on to something else. But now I’ve spent two more years in the classroom. When I’m with my students and I see them push through discomfort and try something new, seeing them become intellectuals and upstanding people, that makes me feel like the job is fulfilling. This job has become everything for me. It’s become a wonderful experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.