Meet Ms. Bridget Dean / 6th & 8th Grade English Language Arts Lead Teacher / KIPP DC AIM Academy
Ms. Bridget Dean is a sixth and eighth grade English Language Arts at KIPP DC AIM Academy and our first Teacher Spotlight of the 2019-20 school year! Ms. Dean joined KIPP DC in 2016 as a Resident in the Capital Teaching Residency program after graduating from Loyola Marymount University in California with a degree in elementary education. “I went through a few majors in college before deciding on elementary education,” she said. “I was in a service organization in college and did a lot of work with Los Angeles Public Schools tutoring and offering support after school. I realized I enjoyed what I was doing and was good at it, so I decided to pursue a career in education.”
After graduating with her bachelor’s and relocating to Washington, DC, she entered the Capital Teaching Residency teaching middle school students. “I had the opportunity to learn from so many smart people while getting hands-on experience in the program. Being paired with another teacher with experience from start to finish of my first year really prepared me well.”
Now a few years removed from her residency and firmly entrenched as a lead teacher at our Douglass Campus, beyond exposing students to new literary devices or writing techniques, she enjoys each opportunity to connect meaningfully with her students.
“I’m pretty big on forging relationships with my students. When you show them you care, not just about the material, but care about them as human beings, they’re willing to put in the hard work or go that extra mile,” said Ms. Dean. “There are students that I taught as fifth graders when I started with KIPP DC that are now eighth-graders now, and I love seeing how they’ve grown as intelligent, well-rounded people.”
Ms. Dean has taught at KIPP DC AIM Academy since she joined KIPP DC and said what separates their teachers and staff from others is their willingness to go the extra mile each day to ensure the success of their students. “The adults in this building really care about the entirety of our students. There’s no one here that only wants a student to be able to multiply or only wants them to be a good essay writer. Every adult in this building puts in the effort to get to know our students and families on a personal level.”
Outside of the classroom, when she’s not teaching or partaking in her favorite hobby of traveling, Ms. Dean is also a soccer coach at KIPP DC AIM Academy. When looking back on her career in education thus far, it’s the ability to help students at this critical juncture in their lives that gives her the most joy walking into the classroom each day, as she explained.
“Middle school is an intriguing stage of life. It’s a giant turning point for a lot of students where you are still a kid but inching closer to adulthood. They’re having this shift in mindset about their worldview and figuring out the things they really care about. To be there to help them along the way is really special to me.