Brandon J.

Cohort 2011
Washington, DC
Browne Education Campus (DCPS)
Fifth Grade Teacher

In my last year of graduate school, I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. I had done an internship at a middle school and another at a juvenile justice center and I knew I loved working with children. I had been planning to go into the corporate world, but then I changed gears and applied to teacher training programs. I heard back very quickly from Urban Teachers and became part of the first cohort to work in the D.C. public school system.

Because I was coming from another master’s program, I wasn’t intimidated by the workload. I found myself very immersed in the lives of my students, helping out with after school programs. I really connected with my host teacher and I had some amazing coaches who really shaped my values.

I remember not being able to sleep the night before I got my own classroom. What would my class be like? Was I prepared enough? I wound up having a great class that first year. There were some really great thinkers and they gave me a lot of support as a new teacher. I still talk with three of the students. They’re sophomores now.

Now I’m teaching at a middle school, a reading intervention class for grades 6 to 8. Every day I feel like I made the right choice, to take part in Urban Teachers and become a teacher. I can tell by the way the students respond to me, the way they interact with me, that I’m doing a good job. Every year that I push through, I learn something new about myself and that makes me even more excited to do the work.

Although, it’s been years since I finished the Urban Teachers program, I’m still part of this rich community. We support each other and we learn from each other.