Leadership in Mathematics Education '21
The fieldwork and advisement impacted me professionally because we were all learning from each other’s experiences, working together as a group, and supporting each other.
While working as a teacher in a public school in the Bronx near where she grew up, Rachel Phillips came to Bank Street to become a school leader. After earning her MSEd in Leadership in Mathematics Education in 2021, she moved to Rhode Island where she is now an assistant principal at a Providence School District elementary school (PK-5).
Here’s what Rachel had to say when asked a few key questions.
What do you see as the most important thing you’ve taken away from your Bank Street experience?
The most important (and my favorite!) component of my Bank Street education was the strong community we built together in my cohort and with my professors. Every individual has strengths that add so much to the learning experiences. Collaborating pushes your own thinking. Even when there were moments of uncomfortability in learning, I was never embarrassed but rather motivated to push through that and become better. The norms we created as a cohort from day one helped throughout this whole entire process and stayed consistent and respected until the very end.
How would you describe the value of your supervised fieldwork?
The fieldwork and advisement impacted me professionally because we were all learning from each other’s experiences, working together as a group, and supporting each other. For example, we would come with a problem of practice we were having in our classroom or school and give each other feedback on how we could improve. This feedback was always in the form of a conversation, and many questions were asked to push each other’s thinking in order to get to a solution. Advisement is really important because it is a more intimate setting than the discussions with the whole cohort, allowing each of us to dig deeper. Having an advisor who facilitated this and who visited our own schools and classrooms was also very meaningful because we were able to get feedback from a professional leader who was not evaluating us. That made me feel less pressured, more open, and really excited about the process.
What are three words you’d pick to describe Bank Street?
Three words that describe my experience at Bank Street are community, reflection, and hope. Bank Street’s strong sense of community made this the most profound learning experience I have had thus far. It has helped me to reflect on my own role as an educator and a human being, and it has given me hope and a strong belief in myself that I have the tools to succeed as a leader.