The Emerging Leaders program at KIPP Indy Public Schools supports excellent teachers in strengthening their leadership skills as they take on more advanced responsibilities in and outside of the classroom. Emerging Leaders participate in formal professional development designed to improve their ability to work effectively with others while working on a school-or region-wide project aligned to their career interests. Learn more about Mr. Gregory Sparks’ project as a 2022-2023 Emerging Leader.
What is your role at KIPP Indy?
Spanish Teacher and Student Council Advisor at KIPP Indy Legacy High
What are the details of your Emerging Leaders project?
We are working to give students a positive internship-based exposure to the teaching profession by piloting and growing a Teaching Assistant program. Through the experience, students will be able to check off boxes in their graduation pathway, receive college credits, and get insight into the education profession or prospective major with a partnering mentor teacher at KIPP.
What do you hope to achieve with this project?
Ultimately, students will be able to recognize the bright spots as an educator that would propel an interest going into their post-secondary experiences.
What motivated you to pursue this project?
The initial motivation emerged to do this project because some students needed relevant experience in order to receive an immersive experience for their Spanish III class. Through partnership with Ms. Brothers, Mrs. Mendoza, and Mr. Spencer, we were able to identify students that demonstrated readiness and motivation to pilot the TA experience. Teacher preparation is already a passion of mine and I dedicate time to this outside of KIPP so the opportunity to do so with our students was a no brainer.
How will this project help our region See all Students?
Exposure is the key for students to become aware of opportunities they have access to. Quite often, students applaud the professions and careers that seem lucrative without knowledge of some of the hardships that come along with them. By exposing students to the bright spots of being an educator, we will be empowering the change needed in the pipeline of cadet teachers. The reality is students need to see educators that look like them and enjoy the profession in order to make that happen.
We are so grateful for the insight and perspective Mr. Sparks brings to KIPP Indy Public Schools.