Corps Member Spotlight: Ayianna Bailey
Before I went to college, I wasn’t aware of the many variables that attributed to my success in school. I loved school, and the satisfaction I felt when I made growth in different subject areas made me cherish my education. But it wasn’t until I joined Teach For America that I really got to reflect on the many factors that influence students’ educational achievement, and how lucky I was to have so many of these factors reflected in my experience. The support and resources I had at my public schools should be the status quo for students of color, not the exception. As I’ve embarked on my role as a teacher working to improve educational outcomes for students of color, I realize that the two most powerful variables in my success were my parents’ support and strong interest in my education and my relationships with my teachers.
I am grateful to be a part of the movement towards educational equality. The idea that I can have a hand in giving students a similar experience to my own is an opportunity that I take with excitement and passion every day. Today, I am most proud of the relationships I have with my students. When they see me, they see someone who looks like them, someone who cares about them, and someone who is determined to help them succeed. I am their friend and their teacher. They are eager to come to school and tell me everything they know, and they are so proud of themselves when they make progress in anything from sight words to opening their milk cartons on their own. When I see my students, I see children with as much potential as their peers growing up in affluent zip codes. I see students who won’t let their race or socioeconomic status limit their ability to make change, but more importantly, I see kids who love school just as much as I did.