I’ve been at this attendance improvement game for almost 18 years and I still believe in the work. I come from a family of teachers, my older brother is a math teacher, he married the daughter of a math teacher, and my great-aunts were all teachers and while I haven’t taught outside of a few student teaching days in grad school, my heart belongs to education.
So, when I got asked why I do what I do, it was such an easy answer. My brother and other teachers that I talk to speak about the kids and how the kids keep them motivated. I don’t have a seminal moment where I helped a student who was struggling, rather, my energy and enthusiasm in doing this work for nearly 18 years comes from the scale of the impact that our work at SI&A has.
We don’t change one kid’s trajectory rather we’ve changed tens of thousands of kids’ trajectories by getting them back in class and coming to school. I hear regularly from principals and other administrators how our partnership has connected them with their families. They are hearing from parents that they have never heard from before by implementing The Achievement Initiative. I derive an immense amount of satisfaction when I get to share in celebration with our district partners, reporting their attendance improvement results at a Board of Trustees meeting. It always comes back to helping the kids.