DCPS Office: Office of Teaching and Learning, Elementary Education
Education: Rising Senior at Syracuse University
Program of Study / Major: Inclusive Elementary and Special Education with a History minor
Hometown: Princeton, New Jersey
Last summer I interned with Special Olympics North America. I worked on the Unified Champion Schools team helping to make schools more inclusive. Unified Champion Schools are schools that have Unified clubs and work to include students with intellectual disabilities socially and academically.
This summer, I chose to be a part of UELIP because I was interested in learning about how curriculum was written and implemented in schools. As an education student, I have experience teaching different curricula, but have never seen the process of how they are developed. I also chose UELIP because I was interested in learning more about the innovative projects that DCPS has implemented, like the Ron Brown Preparatory High School and IMPACT.
I am working on the Elementary Education team helping them develop literacy curriculum for grades K-5. One of my main projects for the summer has been to create updated learning plans. I have been revising the units to make sure that the learning plans are correctly formatted and that they are in the right order. I have also been finding texts to accompany each of the units that can be used by teachers as additional resources.
A typical day for me includes working on my individual projects and meeting with my team members to ask questions and go over the work that I have completed. Through my projects with DCPS, one important skill that I have learned has been how to read curriculum. Updating the learning plans has taught me how to read curriculum and how it is taken from the document and taught in the classroom. This skill will be especially helpful when I teach in the classroom and will need to create more specific lesson plans based on the provided curriculum.
The most rewarding part of my experience as an Associate has been meeting the other teams that are in Literacy and Humanities and seeing how the work that I am doing fits in with the work that the other teams are doing. In addition, I have also enjoyed experiencing how the work that I am doing will impact students in the district. The curriculum that I am working on will directly affect students in the district and the content that they learn next year.
After graduating from Syracuse, I plan on being an elementary special education teacher, hopefully in one of the higher grades (4-6). After teaching for a little bit, I aspire to work in the central office of a school district, helping to write curriculum.