CUE teacher candidate Luisa Rodriguez worked as a tutor at Hallett Academy this past semester. She agrees with CUE mentor Jo Bunton Keel that Hallett is a cut above when it comes to culturally responsive teaching. “The teachers and school leaders value and respect the culture of the students and are proud of the diversity in the student body,” she said.
“Teachers and students learn from each other and come to appreciate the differences in their cultures. All students are given an excellent education, no matter their background,” Rodriguez said.
How did the principal and her team do it? By believing in and paying attention to every student. As one student reported, “She truly loves and cares for each of her students and sees their true potential.”
A concrete example is the story of how Jefferson helped students get psyched up for Colorado Measures of Academic Success testing this year. The day before testing started, all ECE through 2nd grade students paraded through the hallways, holding signs and banners with words of encouragement for the 3rd through 5th graders.
Jefferson also handwrote a note for each student who was about to take the test. She told them about the good she saw in them, painted a picture of their bright futures, and encouraged them to do their best—not just on the test, but in life.
Jefferson said, “I believe very strongly that we must love children into a place of learning. It is our responsibility to meet their needs at our expense and never tell them what it costs us.”
We’re proud of the work happening at Hallett and thrilled that others are taking notice.