Teacher Spotlight: Beatrice White
"This is now my 6th year of teaching and we are still looking to improve." says Beatrice White, math teacher at Clinton Hill Middle. "We tell ourselves as educators the same message we tell our students, that we must continue to grow and get better. This is so important for a community of teachers."
Beatrice White first joined Brooklyn Prospect in 2011, where she began as a math resident teacher in the BPCS Residency Program. She has since taught as an upper school math teacher in Minnesota, and returned this year to teach as a founding math teacher at BPCS Clinton Hill Middle.
Q: What persuaded you to come to Brooklyn Prospect?
Beatrice: Six years ago, I met LaNolia [former Principal, current Director of Academics] at a recruiting fair and I left thinking, "this is the place I want to work". It was LaNolia's personal mission and the school's mission to bring together a diverse group of students and provide them with an excellent education, and to do so thoughtfully and reflectively. It was very clear to me that as a new teacher, I would be joining an environment where we would always be looking to improve.
Q: What makes Brooklyn Prospect special?
Beatrice: To be teaching in a place with students who come to us with all different kinds of experiences, to put them in a community where they feel comfortable sharing those experiences - it's a pretty incredible thing to witness.
Just last week, my advisory students were brainstorming in pairs to think of things they had in common and things they had unique from each other. And I had more than one pair in my advisory express that they were having difficulty thinking of differences, not because they couldn't think of any, but because they kept finding ways to connect. In the end, the students turned the assignment into an exercise in digging for similarities. The connection happened so organically. It was a very cool moment for me as an educator.
I think another thing that makes Brooklyn Prospect special is that the whole community is here to grow and learn together - that my students are excited and motivated to be in school, and that among teachers, we are excited and motivated to learn how we can meet our students as individuals. So, I am constantly learning from my colleagues about things that they've tried, and we are constantly really encouraging each other to grow as teachers and as community members.
Q: If you would recommend Brooklyn Prospect to a friend, what would you say?
Beatrice: For students and families, attending Brooklyn Prospect is an opportunity to learn in a context that's going to look a lot like the world in which you are eventually going to work in as an adult. You're going to be with classmates and teachers who come from different backgrounds and who have different life experiences, and I think it's an incredibly valuable opportunity to learn to be a productive member of this kind of expanded community.
For teachers, it's an incredible place to work. The practice of teaching will always be challenging but it's wonderful to be part of a team of people who are motivated to do this work every day and to collaborate and get better at it, always.