Staff Spotlight – Ms. Nicole Hayes

Meet Ms. Nicole Hayes | Physical Education Teacher | KIPP DC Northeast Academy

We want to recognize Ms. Nicole Hayes as KIPP DC’s December Staff Spotlight! She is a physical education teacher at KIPP DC’s Northeast Academy and joined KIPP DC in 2018 as a teaching fellow. Ms. Hayes is a New York native who graduated from Bennett College, where she studied mass communications with a concentration in Broadcast Production.

What led you to want to work in education and, inevitably, at KIPP DC?

“It was nothing but the Lord! After I graduated from college, I worked various education jobs in Atlanta, which led me to DCPS as a paraprofessional. Education has always played an important role in my life, and I realized how much I love it. I was recruited by a friend who also worked for KIPP DC. After the interview, everything excelled from there! I genuinely enjoy what I do, especially when it comes to teaching physical education!”

How have you grown in your time at KIPP DC?

“I’ve grown tremendously since I started working at KIPP DC. During my first year, adjusting to the gym environment and finding what students liked was pretty rocky, along with making connections and providing learning opportunities behind every lesson. Over time, I thought about new ideas to bring something different to physical education. So, I became a certified instructor in Xtreme Hip-Hop and Xtreme Burn in step aerobics. Students have a chance to learn something new, and they absolutely love it.”

What’s your best memory that you have at Northeast Academy?

“My best memory was introducing step aerobics into my class and seeing how much my students enjoyed it. It’s very different, and I initially worried about how they would react to something different. Currently, we’re at a point where they request it! I love that I can bring unique ways of teaching physical education to Northeast Academy – it’s such an amazing feeling.”

What is your favorite thing about KIPP DC students? 

“I truly love to have fun with my students, but my favorite thing about KIPP DC students is their unique personalities. Once you establish a meaningful relationship with them, they feel comfortable enough to share anything because the trust is there.”

How do you foster a sense of belonging in your class? 

“My goal in gym class is to provide activities that are fun and can accommodate everyone. No one will feel left out because it’s not about being perfect – it’s about moving and having fun. You give 100% if you’re moving and grooving, especially in Xtreme Hip-Hop!”

If you could take the students on a field trip anywhere in the world, where would you take them?

“If I could take my students anywhere, I’d take them to the motherland – Africa. Learning and exploring different cultures, traditions, and environments would be an extraordinary learning experience. It would be an eye-opening experience to learn different perspectives outside of America. So, I would love to expose them to that opportunity.”

Ms. Hayes has made a significant impact at Northeast Academy. We couldn’t be more proud to feature her as our Staff Spotlight this month. We look forward to seeing her continue to make positive contributions to the KIPP DC community.

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Posted on December 15, 2022 in Community