Meet Ms. Emily Coleman | PreK4 Lead Teacher | KIPP DC Connect Academy
In becoming a PreK4 lead teacher at KIPP DC Connect Academy, Emily Coleman was committed to building a strong educational foundation for our youngest learners after working in higher education. After noticing that many of the adults she helped counsel were lacking skills we usually take for granted, she began to realize she could make a profound difference in lives of students by working with them in the early stages of their educational journey. “I knew then that I wanted to start at an early age and help establish a strong foundation in academics,” said Emily.
A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with degrees in psychology and sociology, as well as holder of a master’s in educational leadership from Liberty University, she knew her impact could be profound. Still, there were a few hurdles to clear before stepping inside the classroom. “When I came across the Capital Teaching Residency program, I saw that they provide you with the map to get your teaching license. They also train and coach you while still allowing for that hands-on experience you need,” she said.
She was accepted and completed her Residency year before assuming control of her own classroom, where the training and coaching she received in the Capital Teaching Residency program is combined with her background in psychology and sociology to create a unique and meaningful classroom experience for her students.
“In studying human development you learn quickly that everyone is different, everyone is on different wavelengths, and I know you have to meet people where they’re at. I always wanted to know ‘Why is this person different?’ or ‘How can we help them?’ Here it’s no different. We always have to be thinking ‘How can I help this student and meet them where they are.’”
Success in the classroom can be measured by many things—assessments, attendance, engagement—all of which are great indicators of student success. And while the same is true for students in Ms. Coleman’s classroom, there are still a few intangibles towards success she wants to make sure her students have. “I want them to have high expectations for themselves and their education. I want them to believe in themselves while understanding that education is the key to breaking through barriers and achieving anything you want.”
As some of our youngest learners, students in Ms. Coleman’s classroom are still in the early stages of their educational journeys. These students will grow and mature into the next generation of leaders, due in large part to the strong foundation established by Ms. Coleman.