Meet Ms. Tyresha Williams | Special Education Teacher | The Learning Center
KIPP DC has grown and undergone many changes since its inception in 2001. From humble beginnings in a tiny church basement to now 16 schools and the distinction of being highest performing PreK-12 public school system in District of Columbia, Tyresha Williams, special education teacher at the Learning Center, has been there from the start.
“KIPP DC has always been a huge part of my journey. I was a part of the founding KIPP DC class of 2001 with Ms. Schaeffler. Whenever I came home for summers during college, I did my internships through KIPP DC. My KIPP Through College & Career adviser knew I had a passion for teaching and connected me with the Capital Teaching Residency and I’ve been teaching here ever since.”
Ms. Williams earned her degree in interdisciplinary studies with a minor in elementary education from Virginia State University in 2013. Coming back to her hometown to inspire the next generation of students just like her was a deciding factor in returning to KIPP DC.
“I’m from Washington, D.C. and it’s important to me that our students believe they can achieve anything they want in life. I don’t want them to think that because they are from a certain place or look a certain way that they can’t achieve. I’m that story that says you can.”
Beyond the excellence she pushes in the classroom, the ability to relate directly to the day-to-day lives of her students is key to her ability to make a connection. “I love the relationship I have with my students. We laugh, we joke, they ask questions about my son, but they also know when it’s time to be serious,” she said.
“I tell them all the time that I’ve been through what you’re going through now and can relate. The work you are doing is hard but believe me; it pays off in the long run when you’re accepted into college or get that first job.”
Reflecting on being a student during KIPP DC’s infancy, to now leading a KIPP DC classroom of her own still seems a bit surreal. “Sometimes it’s hard to believe that some of my former teachers are now co-workers, or that I’m sitting in leadership meetings with my former administrators. It’s also hard to believe as a whole how much we’ve grown since the early days.” What isn’t hard to believe is the profound impact teachers like Ms. Williams have in the lives of our students each day.