A conversation with CTR alumna Jasmine Williams

A conversation with CTR alumna Jasmine Williams

CTR alumna Jasmine Williams grew up only two blocks away from Curtis School of Excellence in Roseland, where she was placed for her residency. Her original career path in finance changed when tutoring at an after school program in Englewood ignited her passion for educating urban youth. Since then, Jasmine has successfully completed her residency year and is now a fifth grade English language arts teacher at Carter School of Excellence in Englewood.

Why the CTR?
The number one factor that attracted me to the program was the idea that I would be teaching in an under-performing urban school, much like the ones I attended growing up. I felt as if I had something to offer students whose stories I could understand and relate to, which the
CTR provided me with an opportunity to do.

How did the CTR uniquely prepare you for the future?
The most beneficial thing that I gained from the CTR was exposure to strong teachers in urban school settings. I knew that I wanted to teach in a neighborhood and school like the one I grew up in—which meant that I needed special training, exposure, and preparation to be effective and successful. The CTR gave me that. I learned the value of building relationships with students and their parents. I could go on and on about things that the CTR gave me, but to sum everything up: PREPARATION.

How did working with your mentor teacher shape your teaching practice?
Ms. Oliver was an exceptional mentor! I learned so much from her. She taught me to prioritize along with how to effectively lesson plan, build relationships with students, and create an environment conducive to teaching and learning.

Would you encourage others to join the CTR?
Yes, I would encourage others to join the CTR. However, I would be completely transparent regarding the amount of hard work and perseverance it takes to be successful. It is more than a full time job. The residency, coupled with being a full time student, requires time management, prioritizing, and developing thick skin. It was not easy, but the end results definitely made the struggle worthwhile.

Posted on April 26, 2016 by AUSL Chicago

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