Earlier this week, Frederick Douglass Charter School hosted a visit from Philadelphia’s Mayor Nutter. The visit demonstrated the new partnership between Young Scholars Academies and Children’s Literacy Initiative. Scholar Academies is a non-profit, charter management organization that exists to close the achievement gap by operating a network of urban charter schools.
The afternoon started with Mayor Nutter being greeted and escorted on a school visit by Principal Onome Pela. While in the school, Mayor Nutter observed classroom instruction and spoke to the students. The last classroom he visited was Samantha Miller’s 3rd grade classroom where he fielded questions from the inquisitive students such as “How is your job?”, “ Is your job hard?” and “Why did you want to be a mayor?”
After the classroom visits, there was a roundtable discussion with the Mayor, Young Scholars Academies’ teachers Aubrey Martin, Margaretha Ehret, Samantha Miller and CLI Executive Director, Kelly Hunter, Ed.D. The roundtable was an opportunity for teachers and leaders to engage in conversation about their work with Mayor Nutter and to ask questions.
The Mayor addressed the panel of teachers by asking them why they went into teaching. One teacher, Margaretha Ehret, explained that after completing a two year commitment with Teach for America she realized that the classroom was the most important place to be.
Additional topics discussed at the roundtable included the challenges of teaching, the need for important resources and what students and teachers need to take learning to the next level. The teachers attributed the success of the school to strategies involving family engagement, community partnerships and opportunities for professional development.
This past summer all three teachers attended a 3- Day Institute at Children’s Literacy Initiative’s (CLI) Center for Professional Development. Aubrey Martin described it as, “The best training I have ever had.” Margaretha Ehert said, “CLI training helped me by providing research based techniques to grow.”
Here at CLI, we know that one of the most important resources for student achievement is to provide teachers with the tools they need to build on their strengths.