Servant Leadership & Beyond

by Dionn Brown

Dionn Brown manages K-12 Mathematics & Science Curriculum & Professional Development with Urban Teacher Center, which has been training effective teachers since 2010. Dionn is also a Jumpstart alumna.

It seems quite fitting that January would be the month I’d blog about my experience as a Jumpstart Corps member and share how it primed me to become a servant leader in education. Each January, as part of our AmeriCorps partnership, you will find Jumpstart Corps members serving communities in support of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Whether painting the walls of a senior center, gift wrapping donated children’s books for a shelter, or planting trees at a school, participation creates a deep sense of responsibility for serving the needs of others.

My two years of service as a Jumpstart Corps member in the Shaw and U Street/Cardozo neighborhoods of Washington D.C., expanded into leadership as a Team Leader. After undergrad, I joined Teach for America, seeking an opportunity to continue to make a positive difference in the lives of our nation’s children. After summer institute, I found myself immediately responsible for the lives of 27 amazing children. I loved my students and felt deeply invested in and committed to their success. I wanted to give them everything I thought they would need for the world beyond our fourth grade classroom. But those five weeks of prep, no matter how rigorous, had not been enough. Learning to be an effective teacher takes time, diligence, and ongoing support from other effective educators. I saw that teacher-preparation model in the Urban Teacher Center.

Urban Teacher Center makes a strategic, multi-year investment in training effective teachers. Our residency model – with up to 1,400 hours of classroom experience – is designed to prepare our candidates for the demands of teaching and learning. Through rigorous coursework and clinical experiences, we deepen their competence in content and pedagogy. Candidates who successfully make it through our multi-tier performance metrics will earn a degree in Special Education and another in Elementary Education, Secondary Mathematics, or Secondary English Language Arts. Furthermore, three years of coaching provides our teachers with the skills and confidence to establish productive, well-managed classroom environments that provide high-quality learning opportunities to the children who need it most. Our teachers can not only serve and lead, they can effectively teach!

If you are a servant leader, who is deeply committed to education, then come learn more about our program.

Servant Leadership is a phrase first coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as Leader, an essay he published in 1970.

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

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