A number of frustrated Hartford parents want to know why their children can’t attend one of the many high-performing magnet schools the state has opened in the region.
“It’s really striking. I mean the fact that these are little kids, in first, second grade, and having these black teachers at that age, the fact that it lasts so long, it’s really quite amazing I think,” said UConn professor Joshua Hyman, who co-authored the study.
“It was very soon after I started, but it was really exciting,” Roth-Saks says. “I had such a wonderful and warm welcoming from our community and our volunteers and the board. It was so terrific to be able to start this leadership position with that type of excitement and energy.”
Olivia Singer, 22, of South Windsor, is a master’s student in the Elementary Education Integrated Bachelor’s/Master’s Program at the University of Connecticut in the Neag School of Education. Originally published in the Hartford Courant.
Taylor Hudak, 22, of Guilford, Conn., is a master’s student in the Integrated Bachelor’s/Master’s Program at University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education. She graduated with bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and secondary mathematics education from UConn in May. She wrote this commentary, which was published in the Hartford Courant.
The influence of having a black teacher can make a monumental difference in a black student’s life, and the effect begins early in an education.
Having just one black teacher in elementary school not only makes children more like to graduate high school – it also makes them significantly more likely to enroll in college.
“All it takes is one black teacher to influence a student,” says Joshua Hyman.
“My experience in my teacher prep program included four clinic experiences, in urban and suburban placements, over 10 lesson observations completed and evaluated by teachers, principals and instructional coaches and more than 90 credits of education-focused courses,” says Olivia Singer. “From my perspective, these hands-on learning experiences with students, educators and renowned faculty at the University of Connecticut were of much more value to me than any multiple choice test I could have taken.”
“Although I retired in 2014 as a teacher and coach in Connecticut public schools, I continued to work pretty much full time until 2016, but in those two years I reflected often on where I’d retire and what that retirement would look like,” says Peter Leeds.
Each year, the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress holds a reading and writing contest known as Letters About Literature for students in grades 4-12. Students are asked to read a book, poem, or speech and write a letter to that author (living or dead) about how the text affected them personally. Letters are judged on the state and national levels. Tens of thousands of students from across the country enter Letters About Literature each year.