The son of the imam turns the other cheek in response to hateful social media comments.
Getting laid off is never an easy pill to swallow, but for former New York City financial services manager Danielle Coulanges, it proved to be the push she needed to finally pursue a meaningful career: teaching. Coulanges used part of her severance package to go back to school and earn a teaching credential. Now Coulanges has found her calling teaching French to middle schoolers in Houston.
Coulanges is part of a hot trend of new teachers who are career changers. Like former USA Today sportswriter Steve Wieberg who recently left the paper to become a high school English teacher in Missouri, she's in her late fifties.
Every charter is different, but there are some commonalities. Many have cohesive school cultures around student achievement and work to invest and motivate the entire student body around academic goals. They also usually have much longer school days—KIPP students attend from 7:30 a.m to 5:00 p.m. and have mandatory Saturday classes. Charters often require that teachers be available to kids after hours. KIPP teachers are required to carry a cell phone, give the number to students, and be available till late in the evening for student and parent questions. And, most charter school teachers aren't unionized. Principals have the power to hire who they want instead of just being assigned a teacher by the school district, and they can fire a teacher immediately for any reason.
Teach For America teachers commit to teach for two years in the state's most difficult to staff, lowest performing schools. The $8 million investment-$4 million for each year of the commitment-funds TFA's 5 week training program as well as ongoing support of the new teachers. Individual school districts then pick up the cost of salaries and benefits.