Taking Jumpstart’s Mission with Me

by Lacey Furey

Lacey Furey is an Urban Teacher Center resident in Washington D.C. She graduated from Boston College in May 2013 having served three years as a Jumpstart Corps member and team leader. She currently works as a resident teacher in a kindergarten classroom at Community Academy Public Charter School: Amos II campus. She is also currently pursuing a dual Master’s degree in general education and special education through Lesley University and the Urban Teacher Center (UTC) residency-based program.

When I received the news that Jumpstart and Urban Teacher Center (UTC) have formed an official partnership, I was absolutely thrilled! I graduated from college in May having served over 1,000 hours as a Jumpstart Corps member and Team Leader. It was a sad day when I finally retired my favorite red t-shirt and sang “Goodbye Jumpstart” for the very last time, but I swiftly packed up my things to join a new family at Urban Teacher Center.

If you had asked me four years ago what I would do after I graduated from college, I don’t think teaching would have made the list. Now as I write this blog, I’m surrounded by lesson plans, assessments, sharpies, and a hot glue gun. I am so grateful to have found a home in the Jumpstart family because without them, I would not be an urban teacher, I would not be pursuing a Master’s degree in education, and I never would have found Urban Teacher Center.

My experience as a Jumpstart Team Leader opened up a world of possibilities for me that I had never considered. I became passionate about early childhood education and the powerful role that an effective teacher can have in changing a student’s trajectory. I remember very distinctly at the end of my second year in Jumpstart, I knew I wanted to be an urban teacher. I wanted to take Jumpstart’s mission with me and see to it that when children arrived in kindergarten, they would succeed.

Jumpstart supported me 100% towards this goal. My site manager researched teaching programs with me and counseled me about which program would be best. I joined UTC because it holds teachers accountable for student achievement. I knew I wanted to be a part of an organization that would support me to be effective in the classroom, just as Jumpstart had done. I not only wanted to be a teacher – I wanted to be an effective teacher for the students who need it most. That is why I joined UTC and I truly feel it is the only program that can offer the support and training necessary to face the challenges of urban education successfully.

What I did not realize until recently, however, is that not only did Jumpstart spark my interest in urban education, but Jumpstart also fully prepared me for the residency experience in the Urban Teacher Center program. Through my Jumpstart experience, I had an arsenal of songs, poems, and games for my kindergartners. I know how to implement an engaging and enriching read aloud. I know how to run circle time, how to operate centers, and how to teach a small group. Who knew those elaborate documents I made to prepare for session were actually lesson plans! Jumpstart trained me to work with families of diverse backgrounds, to plan collaboratively with colleagues, to set up a classroom management system, and so much more. I am successful and happy at Urban Teacher Center because Jumpstart provided me with the experience, tools, and attitude to flourish.

What I really want to say is thank you, Jumpstart. I may now be considered an alumna, but I will always be a proud Corps member at heart. I even participated in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record® with my kindergartners on October 3rd and I couldn’t help but sport my favorite red t-shirt for the occasion. The partnership between Jumpstart and UTC has the amazing potential to foster spectacular urban teachers, the kind of teacher every child deserves.

I hope you will join me on Wednesday, October 16 at 9pm EDT to learn more about the Urban Teacher Center, including the application process and how you can advance your career in teaching through this innovative program. Register for Jumpstart and Urban Teacher Center’s webinar today.

Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

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