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Giving Compass' Take:
· Schools often don't prepare students for what's to come after graduation. Here, Chalkbeat talks with Sharon Collins, educator at New Heights Academy Charter School in Harlem, about her approach to engaging students, encouraging lifelong learning, and preparing students for the future.
· How can schools prepare students for their future? What life skills should schools teach students before graduation? How can schools support students in the future?
When Sharon Collins found out that some of her students who were strong academically in high school had dropped out of college, she realized more could be done to prepare students for success after they graduate.
An environmental engineer-turned-teacher, Collins has taught middle school math and nearly every high school math subject. Currently teaching seniors at New Heights Academy Charter School in Harlem, Collins tries to ensure that her students feel supported and prepared after they leave her classroom by continuing to meet with and advise them as part of OneGoal, a program that helps teachers become mentors for students during college.
On top of that, her school models their classes after college courses to get students used to a university structure. And to continue growing as an educator herself, Collins works with Math for America as a co-facilitators on a peer learning team. Here, Collins shares how she engages students and pushes them to enjoy math and continue learning.
Q: What’s one way you build strong personal relationships with students?
A: I teach seniors, so at the start of the year I meet with each of them individually. It helps me know them as people and as learners. I ask them about the future, about college, about possible careers. Where do your interests lie? It’s important know their feelings about math. We have a four-year math requirement, whereas there is normally is a three-year requirement in high schools. My goal is always for the students who hate math to like math by the end of the year — I show them how math relates to the world around them. I also get to know them through going on senior retreat and spending time during lunch period to open classroom. Once you put in that extra time to show that you care, they will put in more effort.
Read the full article about preparing students for what's next by Savannah Robinson at Chalkbeat.