April Campbell is a 6th grade math teacher, and Dustin Shapiro is a 6th grade ELA teacher at Jennings Middle School.
“It’s my responsibility to work at a school that has children coming from marginalized communities, because I grew up in those communities. I understand the challenges our students face, so I have a responsibility to be in front of the kids, advocating for them and educating them,” said April Campbell.
“This summer we are hosting our transition camps, because we want our students to develop a level of comfort prior to getting into the classroom,” Campbell said.
The transition camps are an opportunity for students entering sixth grade to prepare for the change from elementary school to middle school.
“I really wanted to establish a relationship with the incoming sixth graders,” said Dustin Shapiro. “Because of the transition camp, they will be a lot more grounded when the flurry of middle school begins. To go in believing in yourself and know what’s right and what’s wrong when there are all of these people around you—it’s a way to be truly successful in your academics.”
“We need to take ownership of what our children are going through and in order to do that I have to be in the trenches with them and experience what they are experiencing,” said Campbell. “We want to teach them how to develop the necessary skill sets in order to be productive overall, not just here at Jennings, but also in their communities.”
“I do feel that the Achievement Schools are on the correct path as it relates to the resources that are necessary in order to meet the needs of all children,” said Campbell. “Based on some of the trainings I’ve attended on restorative practices, I’m super excited and I think it will be a big leap in the direction we need to go as it relates to building relationships with our children.”
“I feel like I’m coming to work every day for a purpose,” said Shapiro. “These kids are prospering little minds. I feel like they need us, and even though they might not admit it, you can tell when they rely on you. We make it clear every single day that it’s ‘you can,’ not that ‘you can’t.’”
“We’re all in this together,” said Campbell.
This is Why #WeAchieveTogether.
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