Children's Literacy Initiative (CLI) is a mission-driven organization fueled by the passion and enthusiasm of our employees. Our dedicated team works together to equip teachers with the right tools to ensure all children have the power of literacy. We pride ourselves on having a workplace that is fun and engaging, and a team that is smart and motivated.
Today, our Team Spotlight series highlights our Senior Regional Manager, Claire Parker. Claire works every day to make a difference in the lives of teachers and students across the Chicago and Omaha regions. We sat down with Claire to learn more about her experience at CLI, what motivates her every day, and who are some heroes she has as we celebrate Women's History Month. Check out her answers below:
Q: What attracted you to working at Children’s Literacy Initiative?
A: CLI empowers teachers to lean into what they know best – their kids! Rather than focus on one particular model or curriculum, CLI encourages teachers to fine tune their methods of understanding who their kids are and helping to determine what they need. The foundation of our coaching model is building relationships.
Coaches enter classrooms ready to listen, learn and collaborate. That is only successful if we cultivate strong relationships with our teachers. As a former classroom teacher this really resonated with me. I have had the pleasure of working and learning alongside some of the most thoughtful and effective educators while working at CLI.
Q: What are some of your key duties within your role?
A: This year, my days are spent (virtually) in Omaha and Chicago. I am lucky enough to support coaches and interventionists in both regions. I get to facilitate teacher trainings, principal meetings, leadership team meetings, collaboration days and labsites – I actually really love to facilitate!!!
Q: What aspects of your role do you enjoy the most?
A: The best part of my job is being in schools, learning from the incredible work happening in our classrooms. I love seeing our interventionists meeting with their students. I love talking with coaches and listening in on their planning conversations.
Q: In celebration of Women’s History month, can you name woman or women who have inspired you? and why?
A: The list of women who inspire me is LONG! One woman who has shaped so much of my thinking is abolitionist Mariame Kaba. Mariame is an organizer and an educator, committed to dismantling the prison industrial complex. She devotes her time, energy, and resources to reimagining a just world. She encourages people not to just fix broken systems, but to dream big an imagine all that’s possible.
Eve Ewing is another woman who inspires me. She is a sociologist of education whose research is focused on racism, social inequality, and urban policy, and the impact of these forces on American public schools and the lives of young people.
Q: Please share a fun fact about yourself that most people would not know. For example, do you play any instrument, or have a unique hobby?
A: I love to knit! I learned to knit when I was about 16 years old. I'm still not very good, but that hasn't stopped me! Watch out -your next gift from me will probably be a scarf:)
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