2019 Northeast High School Teacher of the Year

High School Algebra Teacher Felis Jennings

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Felis Marzette Jennings
Northeast High School
Algebra I Teacher

How are you working to increase equity in education and opportunity for students in your school?
I have co-taught with our special education department for several years. Working in an initiative whose very foundation is built on equity has helped me differentiate more thoughtfully and aggressively. I spend a lot of time differentiating what and how I say things, problem sets, ways for students to show understanding, and assessments. I am more willing to try new ideas brought by colleagues and thru professional development. I feel confident saying these changes to my teaching have increased student achievement for all students because a large portion of the general education students need the modifications that are brought about by paying attention to the needs of our special education students.

What message about public education do you want to share?
Student stressors is an enormous public education issue because stressed students can’t or won’t focus on how education will impact their future. Despite test scores, data, meta-data, the plethora of data analysis, and/or perceptions of the public our students are able to achieve greatness. It’s important to me to be the support they need to help them realize they can be great and strive for it. I use the resources at my disposal (school, community, district and personal) to help students decrease their stressors so they can focus on education and their future. I strive to use all my sensibilities and experience to observe, connect, and buoy and inspire students to excel and succeed as resilient citizens.

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