When I first started teaching, two words bounced around my head hourly: “achievement” and “gap.”
In the months leading up to the U.S. Chess Federation National Elementary Championship in May, 13 of my chess students at Success Academy Harlem North West kicked their training into high gear.
I have always wanted to run a marathon, even though I am not exactly a long-distance runner. Before I began training, I had never run more than six miles at a time. I am a former college athlete and gravitate toward physical challenges, but the marathon is my Mt. Everest.
When I started teacher training at Success Academy this summer, I did not know what to expect.
In middle school, the state tests were Kayla’s Mt. Everest — seemingly unscalable twin peaks of math and English. Even thinking about the tests made her anxious; for two years straight, she had not passed either state test. Eighth grade — the last year of mandated state testing — was her final opportunity to shine.
To help new teachers adjust to their first year here, we asked eight returning teachers to share one piece of advice they wished someone had given them when they started teaching at Success Academy. Here is what they said:
Three lessons that extend beyond chess and can inform every teacher’s practice.
For three days at the end of May, two dozen seventh-grade scholars from three Success Academy middle schools — Harlem East, Harlem West, and Harlem Central — traveled to Oyster Bay, L.I., to study marine biology, ecosystems, winds, tides, and sailing at the Waterfront Center.
I am especially pleased to recognize the 24 winners of this year’s Success Academy Teacher Excellence Awards for their outstanding work and deep commitment to the highest standards of excellence.
I usually don’t visit Capitol Hill to see great teaching and learning. But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go to the Hill recently and observe Success Academy math teacher Dana Adnopoz masterfully deliver a lesson on proportional reasoning to a group of fifth graders.
For the art show, we invited school staff and families into our art studio to see the hundreds of art pieces that our first graders produced this year. In addition to painting their community portraits, our young artists created collages with geometric shapes, built their own dream playground using recycled materials like cardboard and straws, created monotype symmetrical prints, and made paintings of a special memory to tell a story.
A few weeks ago, one of my fifth grade students asked a simple question that challenged me to think differently about my own pedagogy and powerfully illustrated the value of the Common Core’s commitment to a deeper, conceptual understanding of mathematics.
Our Project Based Learning unit about the history of the New York City subway system brought us to Grand Central. The scholars had studied how the subway system was conceived in the late 19th century as an extension of the railroads that still travel in and out of Grand Central every day; they had learned about the subsequent technological and structural developments that propelled the subway system forward to meet the needs of a growing city.
It is fair to say that I am in love with my son’s teacher, Ms. Muller.
Because Success Academy offers science five days a week, our scholars explore science in amazing depth and develop a breadth of foundational science knowledge. We present challenges and encourage them to make discoveries using a curriculum that builds on their natural curiosity and eagerness to understand how the world works.
This Friday and Saturday, 22 scholars from Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts will perform in the school’s musical production of Schoolhouse Rock Live! It’s a show that follows a nervous new teacher on his first day with students.
Ms. Roth is a great teacher with a special gift for children. We are so happy to appreciate her this week.
My son, Nathaniel, is a scholar in Ms. Herrera’s kindergarten class at Success Academy Washington Heights. When I first saw her at a “meet the teachers” picnic in the fall, I just knew in my gut that she was going to be Nathaniel’s teacher! – See more at: https://successacademies.org/?p=8137&preview=true#sthash.BdgqBIqF.dpuf
While this week is Teacher Appreciation Week, in my mind, every day is teacher appreciation day.
At Success Academy, we have high expectations, even for children who require different kinds of support or approaches to learning.
Success is upfront about their unwavering commitment to excellence and setting a high bar for all involved, but what I found to be most staggering was the profound support offered to teachers to meet the demands of the day.
When I started at Success Academy, I quickly realized that the traits that make an actor great – preparation, quick thinking, the ability to accept feedback – are the same qualities that make a teacher successful in the classroom.
Recently, a team of five SA Harlem East scholars who took my entrepreneurship class faced a panel of “potential investors” and presented their product…
Twenty-five middle school musical theater scholars from SA Harlem North West and SA Harlem North Central have been busy preparing to perform Charlie Brown, Success Academy’s first-ever middle school musical!