- Name: Kristin Taylor
- Where you teach: Baltimore City, MD (USA)
- What you teach: History and English Lead
- Number of students you serve: Our school enrollment is about 500 students
- Type of school/org: Public Alternative High School
- Number of years in education: 15
- Biggest Pet Peeve: (as an educator)"Lawnmower Parents" defined as: - These are the parents who go to whatever lengths necessary to prevent their child from having to face adversity, struggle or failure. Instead of preparing their children for challenges, they mow obstacles down so their kids won’t experience them.
- Your philosophy of life or words you live by: “You can’t be HUMAN all by yourself, and when you have this quality – UBUNTU –you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individual, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do AFFECTS THE WHOLE WORLD.” ~ Desmond Tutu
I have proudly been a Baltimore City educator for 15 years. I am a firm believer of knowing and learning from the past. It is important to grow and build on the foundations which have been laid for us. We must always do this with open minds and open hearts. Learning from one another is most valuable.
A project you are proud of: Establishing our school's Social Justice Club. Through facilitating the after school social justice club, students were able to speak their truth and discover ways to improve their own community. The club was driven by student voices. Everything our club completed was due to the ideas and passions for equity our members had for our community and beyond. Our students were able to make changes such as acknowledging Hispanic Heritage month, Women's History month, held discussions on democracy and continued to support the existing Green Club. On a larger scale, the club organized walking protests for civil rights outside of our school building, moments of silence for those lives lost to school shootings for the school to remember, taught lessons to younger students using books to promote diversity in our school building, and took to the polls to thank voters for coming out. On a larger scale, our students have met with foot soldiers from the past to learn valuable lessons and take action from Representative John Lewis, Marybeth Tinker, and Jane Fonda (and Sally Fields), as well as a trip to the United States Institute of Peace to see how impact can be made all over the globe. Some of these events are documented in the slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1eb2NHm5psvFgO_g5gNsFOUtXHT0tLqTeHPDiK27xDl8/edit?usp=sharing
Why you are interested in participating in the
TEACH Climate Change Agents Institute: I love the vision of the TEACH organization. My first hand experiences of the power educators and students can have when they are able to improve their own communities - they can be unstoppable. Additionally, the knowledge of the teachers and artist who are already a part of this group have the passion and drive to create change on a large scale. This has been proven over and over again when students have access and ability to use the arts as a driving force to open their creativity and engage for common goals.