Lucy Laney Elementary, 4th Grade

Minneapolis Public Schools

I helped my students achieve outstanding academic growth!

Keys to My Teaching Success

Seeing each kid as an individual and honoring what each kid brings to the table.

I believe in starting at the ground up: meeting their needs neurologically first, then academics. I've learned that if I put the time and effort upfront into building a sense of community, then we make a lot of gains. 

Who or What Inspires Me

My mentor Principal Mauri Friestleben taught me: "do whatever you can for the kids." That's the bottom line always.

I love learning about our neurological systems and sharing Buddhist practices, mindfulness, and simple ways to help kids regulate and slow down. 

What I Love About Our School

I'm honored to teach here, especially as a white person working in a Black community and enjoying the gifts that offers. Every kid is special and it's about letting them be who they are, not trying to contort them to fit into white expectations. Walking down the halls feels good. It's a high caliber staff. They'll inspire and support you and keep you on your toes. Many staff enroll their kids here and some parents have become school staff.

What I Tell My Students

Never give up. We also talk about being a creator. Not focusing on what's happening to you, but thinking "I can create whatever I want." Like sure this person said something to you, but you're sitting here having the problem and they're having fun. It gives them power.