Every summer, Higher Achievement welcomes rising 4th and 5th grade scholars as they begin the first day of their 4 year journey through our rigorous academic program driven by spirit, excellence, collaboration, and respect. Guiding these new scholars are older scholars, center directors, managers of instruction, and summer teachers. Each summer teacher brings a unique set of skills, perspectives, and backgrounds to their achievement centers. Over 30 people work with scholars in Richmond, and – for the first time – they will work with scholars at Binford and Wilder Achievement Centers. Although they come in with experience, summer teachers also attend a one-week orientation and intensive training on how to implement Higher Achievement’s progressive skills-based curricula, to supervise at center and on field trips, and, most importantly, to become champions of Higher Achievement culture and expectations.
On a late Friday afternoon, new and returning summer teachers gather at a local eatery. The program team of each center is there to greet them, offer a plate, and soon conversations and laughter fill the room.
In an effort to build camaraderie and connect, this meeting of the teams sets the tone for morale. After a few hours, the group begins to disperse, but not before taking a customized binder of information pertinent on their roles at center.
Reuniting the following Monday, they undergo the most rigorous training day of the week. The day consists of instruction on Higher Achievement culture, classroom management, Advancing Youth Development, behavior management, instructional techniques, and lesson planning, before separating into achievement center teams for school-specific training. Leading the training are center directors and Richmond’s Director of Programs, Pete Glessman. As a previous principal for 7 years, Glessman remarks, “The training prepares summer teachers for experiences with scholars, techniques, and the process to be effective in the classroom. It creates a feeling of being in a team with a common goal of scholar success.”
Interested in becoming a summer teacher? Learn more on our careers page.