Living History Makers: Teshira Newton, teacher
Every day, educators are making history through their selfless service to our communities. CT3 and ASCD are recognizing some of these educators through Living History profiles to share their great work and powerful impact.
This February, Black History Month, we highlight Black educators who are making history. We will continue to spotlight educators each month throughout the year. This is the first in our Living History Makers blog series.
We spoke with Teshira Newton, 8th grade math teacher at Ashley Park PreK-8 School in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. She shares her vision on teaching, building students’ agency and voice, and what she enjoys to do when she’s not in the classroom.
What is your “Why” for working in education?
The one thing I love about education is that every year I learn something new about myself, my scholars, and the work that I am doing. I find a new passion in this work regularly. The details of my “why” change as I develop and find new ways to connect, push, and lead my students into success. I am so passionate about watching my students grow and understand the value they put in this world. As an educator, learning becomes more than the content you teach. My “why” is to push my students to find what they’re passionate for. To push all my students to know and fight for what they believe in.
What do you hope for the future of education? How do you work to contribute to that future?
In the future, my hope for education is to continue to push students to be advocates for their learning. I want students to gain investment in their own knowledge and seek ways to make themselves innovative thinkers and leaders of this world. In my classroom, students are encouraged to do all of the thinking. Students are pushed to think critically about their decisions and always provide justification for each of their thoughts.
What is the best piece of coaching you’ve ever received?
The best coaching that I received is to let my scholars do the thinking. Many times, as teachers we want to give our students everything to be successful. What I learned is that true success comes from allowing our students to find it themselves. This is when it will mean the most to them. They will cherish it and look forward to seeing it again. So don’t be afraid to let your students do the heavy lifting in your classroom!
What is a personal, non-work passion of yours?
Something that drives me regularly is my fitness journey. Fitness has always been what brings me joy as I unwind from a long day. Throughout my journey, I’m finding different ways to keep it fun, including blogging about my vegan recipes (Twitter: @thevegangoddesskitchen)!
What or who should we be reading, watching, or listening to right now?
I recently re-read the book For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood… and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education by Christopher Emdin. This is a great read for educators. I also enjoyed Between the World and Me by Ta Nehisi Coates.
I am so honored to be a part of CT3’s Living History work and hope to continue making an impact on the many students I serve daily!
Thank you for sharing your living history, Teshira. You’re an inspiration!
CT3 transforms the quality and culture of education for youth, especially those in traditionally disenfranchised communities.