Marci Hameroff teaches fourth grade ELA in the AF Bushwick Empower Program at AF Bushwick Elementary. We sat down with her to learn more about her journey and her "why." How did you get into education? I grew up in Baltimore City and went to college at a teeny, tiny school called St. Mary's College of Maryland. I majored in psychology and economics, which couldn’t be more different from each other. But teaching was something I always thought about because I have a lot of educators in my family. After college, I saw the need and decided, “I’m really going to do this.” So I became an academic interventionist in Baltimore City for three years. What brought you to teach in Brooklyn with AF? I was in my mid-twenties and trying to figure out what to do next. And then, a friend happened to call me and tell me about AF Bushwick Empower. I applied, was hired, and the rest is history! In Hebrew, we have a word: bashert. It means fate or destiny. That’s how I feel about coming to work here. Can you share a part of your teaching that’s particularly meaningful to you? I LOVE teaching close reading. It’s my favorite subject. Our curriculum could definitely be more culturally responsive, but even so, it touches on real life in a way that allows kids to make authentic connections with what they’re reading. Watching a student discover meaning in a piece of writing because they truly connect to it, and not just because they were told to, that’s the win! It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. What is your favorite part of working at AF? At AF Bushwick Empower, it’s so nice to be on such a small team. We really row together and have each others’ backs. We’re not perfect by any means, but because we’re small, we have the flexibility to really cater to our students’ needs. Watching students who have struggled and are now making real growth is so exciting. I love being co-located with AF Bushwick, a school that’s so high achieving—they’re crushing it! There are are so many strong teachers we can turn to—it’s so helpful to have thought partners. What do you hope your students take away from your class? In general, I hope they take away a love of learning, especially reading. I would also love for them to gain an element of transferability—I want them to internalize the skills they’re learning so they can bring that to other areas of their lives. Thanks for sharing with us, Marci!