Reading Corps Events: Alumni Panel 2014


Alumni Tutors (left to right): Courtney Deal (TNTP), Patrick Belson (CTR), Tamra Johnson (TNTP), and Dodi Exume (CIT) representing The New Teacher Project, The Capital Teaching Residency, and Center for Inspired Teaching

Alumni Tutors gathered earlier this week to share about their transitions from Reading Corps tutoring to various teaching residency and certification programs in DC and their take-aways were very insightful!

On the benefits and carry over from their year with Reading Corps to their current teaching position:

  • [PreK Tutors] “You learn a lot about data and literacy skills [in Reading Corps], but you also learn a lot about classroom management.”
  • “Working with students who are very far behind is helpful. There are many teachers who don’t have that experience.”
  • “A lot of the skills I gained in Reading Corps, I use in my job today. Not being overwhelmed and knowing I can help them get where they need to go has been really helpful.”
  • “Understanding the tiered system and how to organize a classroom was really helpful.”
  • “I felt more prepared than some teachers to teach phonemic awareness and phonics skills.”
  • “The PreK program prepared me to go into Special Ed because I’m familiar with whole and small group work.”

On how to utilize your Reading Corps position to advance your career path and choose the best program fit for you:

  • “Observe teachers at your school who are doing good work and ask questions.”
  • “Advocate for your students. Advocate for yourself.”
  • “Compared to other major cities, DC treats its teachers really well. There are a lot of ways to progress in the DC school system.”
  • “Go observe school sites that you could be placed at.”

On the interview process:

  • “In my interview I had to analyze data, and it was similar to what I had done in Reading Corps.”
  • “Knowing how to make decisions based off of data is really important.”
  • “Buzzwords to know: data driven decision making, analysis, behavior management”

On the rewards and challenges of teaching in a classroom:

  • “It’s important to be calm in the classroom.”
  • “Don’t be afraid to be ‘that teacher’ everyone is at some point in their first year.”
  • “Teaching is a LOT of work, but it’s worth it because when [students] achieve their goals, it’s like you achieve them too. It’s so worth it.”
  • Finally & comprehensive between tutors and teachers alike:

“I love what I do because if it wasn’t for me, these kids wouldn’t have someone to teach them the foundational skills they need.”

A big thanks to all of our alumni and current tutors who participated in the event!