Working with kids is amazing. They are always funny. They always keep you on your toes. To be able to see their growth, and the impact that I can have on their lives, on their families, and sometimes on the community, is incredible.
My goal long-term is to help find a way to close the educational achievement gap in the U.S. Yale SOM’s mission of educating leaders for business and society speaks directly to what I want to accomplish. I think the private sector can bring a lot of insight. I wanted to gain some management, financial, and analytical skills, and I also wanted to learn more about leadership and organizational behavior. It all comes into play in school districts.
One of the electives I’m taking is Rethinking and Leading Talent in Public Education, which is about human capital management in schools. I was thrilled to find a course that was almost perfectly aligned with my interest. We take the personnel management learnings from the core and apply them to cases involving very specific, very complex, massive political structures in school districts and charter networks. I’m also taking Urban Poverty and Economic Development, which of course also has a massive educational aspect. A lot of my struggles when I was teaching weren’t education issues but poverty issues. Being able to study the economics and the workforce development that cities rely on to help their populations out of poverty has been fascinating.
I’m also involved in the planning of the Education Leadership Conference. Our theme this year is “Education as Empowerment.” We’re focusing on the various ways that educational institutions can empower individuals—teachers, families, communities, students, or governments. I’m a conference manager, so I do some help with outreach, and I’m also planning two sessions. One is on bridging the divide between social movements and their interactions with educational reform—something that really intersects with the kind of impact I hope to have.