Stephanie Sowma

Second Grade Teacher

Hiawatha Leadership Academy-Morris Park

What do you love most about teaching?
The thing I love most about being a teacher is forming genuine connections with young people and helping them navigate the world we share. My aim is to create curriculum and a classroom environment that not only help them to understand our world but that also empowers them in resisting oppression.

Why did you choose to teach at Hiawatha Academies?
The mission of Hiawatha Academies aligns with my own deeply held values and beliefs, and I feel that I have the freedom and boldness to take action in changing education from within my classroom.

Who are your teacher role models?
I stand on the shoulders of giants such as Paulo Freire and bell hooks, who have been visionaries in the field of critical pedagogy.

What is the impact you want to have on the scholars you teach?
At the end of the year I know I have succeeded with a scholar if their self-efficacy has improved. Academics is my number one priority, but success is equal parts being able to learn and knowing that you are able to learn.

Why would you recommend teaching at Hiawatha Academies?
Hiawatha Academies is making moves towards genuine educational equity, and I would recommend a role at Hiawatha Academies to anyone who is a passionate educator and believes in disrupting the opportunity gap.