Meet Essam LaBoone, Summer ’17 UELIP

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DCPS Office: 
Office of Talent and Culture, Teacher Recruitment and Selection
Education: Rising Sophomore at North Carolina Central University
Program of Study/Major: Education, Comprehensive Social Studies concentration
Hometown: Blacksburg, Virginia

“The 10th floor is the best floor to be at,” says Essam of his experience with the Office of Talent and Culture. This summer, he is working to expand DCPS hiring strategies by helping to research virtual hiring fairs. He thinks that his work could “revolutionize the way we do hiring, since virtual hiring fairs will enable DCPS to cast a broader geographic net.” Additionally, Essam is working on developing an informational guide about living in the District for new hires to make their transitions easier.

Being on the hiring side of teaching has been useful for Essam, because he aspires to teach high school social studies, though he’s learned that there are practical advantages to teaching higher-need content areas, like science and math. “I’ve gotten advice to get certification in different subjects,” he said. And since he still has three years of college left, he’s confident that he has plenty of time to broaden his interests and develop himself.

Essam found inspiration for a career in teaching from doing Taekwando as a kid. Even though he’s a 2nd degree black belt, he thinks the beauty of the martial art is that “it doesn’t matter what belt you have in terms of teaching.” That’s because “if you have a yellow belt or above, you have to teach the lower belts.” This experience and philosophy of teaching has shaped Essam’s own views. “You get a sense of helping people combat challenges, which strengthens your own understanding of content,” he said. His favorite thing about teaching, and what he hopes to do for his future students, is to guide them to the “OH, AHA!” moments of realization, when something just “clicks.”

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