CATEGORY: Teachers and Leaders

Tara Martinez May 9, 2024

Fourth-grade Promesa Elementary School teacher Maeve McLeod is a prime example of what happens when potential is met with opportunities for growth and development. Now in her third year of teaching, McLeod is seeing all of her dedication and hard work come to fruition. Originally from Connecticut and a graduate of Boston College, McLeod came to Promesa Elementary in Providence through Teach for America. She started out as a second-grade teacher and moved up alongside her cohort of students. This year, she is teaching fourth grade and loving every second of it.  “What I love most about teaching is honestly the kids and I've worked with the same cohort of students. So I've been really lucky to really build strong relationships with them, really get to know them and their families,” McLeod shared. “But really they make each day really different and exciting and fun. You never know what you're going to get, which I think is different from any other job besides teaching.” She also loves seeing moments of illumination in her students during a lesson. “When you see them hit that aha moment, ‘oh, this is how you represent a fraction!’ It's just so fun to kind of see that moment it clicks. And since I've been fortunate enough to work with the same cohort of students from second to fourth grade, I really am able to see their growth academically and socially.” When asked about her experience at AF, she offers a lot of insight into what teachers can expect in terms of support and development. For her, co-teaching and coaching have given her the chance to have her own moments of illumination.  “The co-teacher model really set me up for success because I had someone who was experienced in the school and knew the students. He was able to kind of guide me as a new teacher at Achievement First,” she said. “I also like the coaching aspect as well. I feel like I've been very lucky in that my leadership team and my coaches in particular have been really hands-on, giving feedback, and being in my classroom a lot. So through both the co-teacher and coaching, I felt prepared and confident and supported as a first year teacher.” If given the opportunity to give new and incoming AF teachers advice, McLeod would keep it simple and say, “Be open to feedback.” At Achievement First, we are dedicated to ensuring the growth and professional development of our educators. Come join in fulfilling our mission of providing top-quality education for students in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York!

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Tara Martinez

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