The influential Teach for America has accepted Ursinus students Robyn Clarke and Alexandra Wilson into its program which works to close the achievement gap in schools for students living in low-income communities.
Wilson, a Politics major and Education and Film Studies minor, will be teaching in Jacksonville, Fla. for two years. She will be the primary teacher for an elementary education class and will attend a summer course at Chicago Institute where she will practice effective teaching strategies..
“The educational injustice in Florida often gets overlooked, and I feel it needs to be confronted,” says Wilson. “I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone.” Wilson will be the primary teacher for an elementary education class and will be attending a summer course at Chicago Institute where she will undergo five weeks of intense training in order to practice effective teaching strategies. “I applied for Teach for America because I truly believe that education inequality is one of the biggest injustices in our society and must be stopped,” she says. “No other program offers as comprehensive a plan or as many opportunities to do so, and I knew joining TFA was my opportunity to give back to society. I have been so fortunate to grow up where education was a right, not a privilege, and I want to make sure that every child is given the same chance at success.”
Clarke, a double major in History and Dance with teacher certification, will teach in New York City, either in an elementary or middle school, most likely in special education. “Teaching in an urban district has always been a goal of mine because I started my education in an urban district,” says Clarke. “Until I was in second grade, I attended school in Elizabeth, New Jersey and Newark New Jersey. I wanted to return to where my love for learning was sparked.” She says she is inspired by the TFA mission to reduce the achievement gap in economically depressed areas.
The Education Department at Ursinus is especially proud, says Education Professor Stephanie Mackler. “We are thrilled to see Teach for America admit two of our education students, Robyn and Alex, because it speaks to the value of the liberal arts approach to education our department provides. Robyn and Alex know more than just the methods of teaching; they understand the broader socio-political context of education, and I’m sure this understanding made them strong candidates for TFA and will enable them to make a significant impact on education policy and practice in the future.”
Clarke and Wilson are looking forward to making a difference in the lives of their students. “I can’t wait to get to know my students and develop individual relationship with them.” – Kaitlyn Ott 2013