“The atmosphere here is so positive and nurturing. This is my first year and right when I got here everyone was greeting me and was so sweet. This school is so loving and they’re also structured and in control. I came from a school that didn’t have that. I came from a school in Albany where there was no leadership and no structure. That was my second school. Of all the schools where I’ve taught Mitchell is by far the most structured. Things as simple as communication make a huge difference. In my old schools there was just no communication between the administration and the teachers. We had no idea what was expected of us, they wouldn’t tell us when things would change or when there were events being organized. Mitchell isn’t like that. Ms. A isn’t like that. When we come together as a school people are organized, Ms. A is on top of everything and so is everyone else. If I’m confused about something there are so many teachers here to whom I can go for help. They won’t judge me, they want to help me out.
“I don’t know much about what this school was like before Ms. A got here but I heard so much about the school after she got here. This school developed a reputation because of her. If you’re a teacher in Philadelphia looking for work you want to come to Mitchell because of Ms. A. She’s very involved, she puts so much work in. She really has established herself – this is a big school district. It’s not easy to make yourself known across the district. You’ve got to really work hard to accomplish what she has. She’s here after hours, she does all of the extracurricular activities, and she helps with the teachers too. She’s here for us.
“That lets us be there for the students. We feel comfortable here and that lets us make this school a home for the students. Slowly the kids started feeling like this was a safe place for them to go. My first week they didn’t know me yet so they weren’t going to come to me with personal stories. Now they do. Now they know I’m a constant in their lives. Now they trust me.”