ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Khadijah Curet
Why have you decided to teach?
I knew early on that I wanted to teach. I had experienced great teachers, and they've shaped my life beyond the classroom. I wanted to make sure the future was a little bit brighter. It was in seventh grade that I realized that teaching was something I was meant to do. This was the year I finally understood the importance of education and the mobility it provides. I had been told time and time again there was no money in the field. But for me the prize is seeing kids light up when they finally understand the material. I want to teach because I want to plant the seeds for the doctor that may cure cancer, next president, and the list goes on. I didn't choose this path. It chose me.
What subject(s) and grade level(s) do you teach?
I am currently teaching Kindergarten Science at KIPP Boston.
What inspired you to select the school or program you chose?
From the moment you walk into the building, you can feel that KIPP is a place that welcomes all. Everyone at KIPP invites feedback and is constantly looking to be better versions of themselves. The feedback culture helps to make the school feel like we are all on the same team. Feedback is welcomed from the Executive Director to the school leadership team. For me, it was important for me to feel like I was on a team. I didn't want to work somewhere that I wasn't genuinely happy or felt like I was just another teacher on staff. At KIPP you are part of a team that shares a common goal. That is to make our students ready for life after KIPP both in and out of the classroom. It wasn't hard to pick KIPP.
What did you learn from the job process? Were you asked to submit performance tasks, teach demo lessons, or answer unexpected questions?
I have learned the importance of preparation. During the hiring process, I was asked to do a demo teaching lesson. I was given time to read over the text and come up with a Guided Reading lesson plan. I learned that it is important to prepare for lessons ahead of time. The day it was time to do the lesson, I felt at ease because I had prepared for it prior to the interview day. Through this process, I learned the importance of being prepared.
Do you have any advice for your Teaching Fellow colleagues?
Take in all the information that you can. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and areas. There is always something you can learn and teach one another. You want to connect with those around you.
What is your favorite memory from your summer with GT?
My favorite memory was when I had a chance to talk to students at lunch. I was able to hear about my students outside of their classroom selves. During one of the lunches, I remember the kids telling me that they wished I was their teacher during the school year. It was moments like this that reassured me this was what I was meant to do.
What is happening in your life beyond your exciting current role?
It is important to remember to care for yourself. When I am not teaching, I am hitting the gym and enjoying the company of my friends.
Khadijah can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org