Brittany Scherer, a former middle school humanities teacher at KIPP Indy, is taking on a leadership role as an assistant school leader at KIPP Indy College Prep Middle this year. Brittany taught eighth grade reading and literature at another school before joining KIPP Indy. She says the biggest difference between other schools and her experience here is that the bar for excellence set for both teachers and students is very high and that the school makes students feel loved. “Teachers are held to very high expectations so that they can be their best selves in front of students, from whom we demand so much… Students are working hard, but they are being praised and recognized by teachers and staff who love them.”
One of her favorite memories from her time at KIPP Indy includes a special student she had this past year who put the eighth grade team on a rollercoaster ride. She explains, “He was incredibly intelligent and curious, but he had some behavioral struggles. Our team would also see a side of him where he would refuse to enter lunch or wander the hallways without permission.” The student was at risk for being retained at one point this year due to his failing grades.
However, when students took their second round of MAP testing, an adaptive test that measures individual progress and growth taken three times during the school year, this student had achieved his growth goals in both math and reading. “When we were walking out to buses that day, this young man skipped up to me with the biggest grin on his face and proclaimed, ‘Guess what… I’m SMART!’ These were words I had never heard him utter before. It was a moment that reminded me why I do this work. It was proof that the relentless dedication, love, and patience of his teachers pushed him to believe in himself and put him on a path towards success.” The student ended up passing his classes and is attending a high-performing high school this year.
One of the reasons Brittany is motivated to keep working at KIPP Indy is because she has had the pleasure of getting to know families who have multiple students at the school. “Meeting one of my eighth grader’s sisters in sixth grade makes me so excited to foster that relationship and then have that student in class in two years. I feel like the longer I am at KIPP Indy, the more genuine and authentic my relationships have become with students and families due to familiarity, as well as intentional relationship-building.”