Setting the Bar

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Teresa Woods with students at Harlem Village Academies

This blog post is part of our 2019 Teacher Appreciation Week celebration highlighting just a few of the teachers at public charter schools who are going above and beyond for their students. Thank you to all the teachers in the charter school movement!

One look around Teresa Woods’ classroom is all it takes to realize it is a special place. A place filled with love, learning, and high expectations. Teresa is a teacher who believes students should feel at home in their learning environment and from the moment she set foot in her classroom, she began to design a place where students would want to be. This is one of many examples of Teresa going above and beyond what is expected of her in the name of student achievement.

Teresa is an amazing 4th grade teacher at Harlem Village Academies. She sets the standard for establishing a strong team and cultivating a progressive classroom. In teaching, Teresa understands that student achievement soars when students take ownership over their learning. Therefore, Teresa frequently conferences with learners to set goals, reviews their areas of growth, and ensure they understand what is expected of them moving forward. This has led to many of her students being intrinsically motivated to do well and be successful in school.

Teresa is a leader in our community. Each week, she meets with her team to review and discuss student  English language arts and math data and plans with her team to find the best areas to focus on in the upcoming days that would support student growth quickly. In her short time at Harlem Village Academies, Teresa has significantly impacted the academic trajectory of several students. She inherited a class of students this year who were not performing on grade level, but she firmly believed that with effective and engaging instruction all of her students could make tremendous academic gains—and they did. Through her thorough data analysis and intervention planning Teresa moved students from performing below grade level, to performing on and above grade level. This is significant because, as studies suggest, students who are behind in 4th grade are four times less likely to graduate from high school.

Teresa contributes to our school community beyond the walls of her classroom. She does everything from leading a tutoring program afterschool to planning celebrations for our students. She is committed to ensuring there is a joy factor for all of our students and that students are celebrated for all of their hard work. Teresa is a charismatic pillar in our community and we are grateful to have her on our team.


Brandi Womack is the Director of Operations for the Harlem Village Academies.