Giving back in front of the classroom

Auguste Leach ’18 teaches history at Brooklyn charter school

Interned with: Unity Preparatory Charter School, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Supported by: The Blakely Fetridge Bundy ’66 Work and Learning Fellowship
Major: Political science

Passion for education: “My supervisor encouraged me to apply to work at Unity after seeing my interactions with students. I am very passionate about education and felt that interning at Unity Preparatory Charter School would give me the opportunity to see if being in the classroom was the right fit for me.”

The classroom and beyond: “I co-created lessons and taught middle school history classes. Additionally, I assisted the teacher as needed, in areas including lesson planning, classroom management, class preparation and assessing student work. Also, I gathered information about student rubrics and assessment tools, and participated in team meetings to devise individualized instruction for students with disabilities and English language learners. Lastly, I facilitated targeted small groups to support struggling students.”

Becoming a role model: “Many of the students need a strong role model in their lives. Because you are there every day and truly devoting yourself to the students, they depend on you. By having the students’ trust, they are more willing to learn from you. Through my experience at Unity Preparatory Charter School, I was able to better understand the needs of students who are struggling in the New York City public school system. Through working under expert teachers, I was able to better understand techniques that can be used with struggling students.”

Prioritizing all over one: “My biggest challenge at Unity was ensuring that I checked up on all the students within a class period. It was easy to get caught up working with one student for the entire class. I realized that all the students need assistance and it was not fair to stay with one student the entire time.”

Joy through progress: “Working one-on-one with a struggling student was my favorite memory at Unity. Although it was certainly a challenge to help this student with their reading comprehension, in the long run it was very rewarding. Seeing a student finally understand how to complete a task alone, after your assistance, is heartwarming. I realized that I have the patience to work with students that are struggling, and this has brought me much joy.”

Coursework in practice: “Taking a special education course at Wheaton helped me have a successful internship. There was a high percentage of students with special needs at Unity and, after taking this course, I had some of the tools needed to assist these students.”

Looking forward to giving back: “I plan on applying to work as a history teacher after college. I think it is essential to give back to the community that has shaped me into the person I am today, and I believe the best way to do so is through education.”

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