In Their Own Words Video Premiere
“You didn’t ask my permission to use those computers. Put them back. You obviously haven’t met the students yet,” said the Principal.
It was 2006 and I was about to begin my first day teaching English as a Second Language at a suspension site in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
I was idealistic, enthusiastic and ready to change lives.
But there was my principal, telling me how I couldn’t use the 3 computers that I’d found in a closet, collecting dust. According to her, we had to “protect” the computers from the students.
This was my first glimpse into an education system which too often put the needs of administrators and teachers above the needs of students.
Despite the challenges of teaching in a failing school, what kept me teaching was the stories of my students. Moments when I could hear their struggles and challenges. Encourage them to share their stories in front of the class and find their voice.
After four years, I left teaching to start ListenIn Pictures, frustrated and disillusioned with our public education system. But I still held the belief that students and their stories deserve to be at the center of our education system.
I’ll never forget the first day I stepped into an Achievement First school to film. I saw a school where students came first. Teachers honestly believed in the potential of every student, and had the support of the administration. Students were pushed to dream bigger than they thought was possible for themselves.
Great work is being done all around the country to innovate our education system. Yet too often these organizations have videos which feature just the perspectives of administrators and board members.
We’re committed to changing that.
Every year the NewSchools Venture Fund brings together the top leaders in education reform at their annual summit.
We interviewed a dozen students in 5 schools funded by NSVF in order to bring the voices of students to the forefront of the conversation about education reform.
Yesterday, our photos were displayed all around the summit and our video screened at the opening of the day.
Yesterday I met amazing entrepreneurs who renewed my faith in our ability to build an education system where all students receive the education they deserve.