February 2, 2022

KIPP MA Emerging Leaders: Allen Wang

What are Emerging Leaders?

In Emerging Leaders, we believe that leadership is a mindset, not a title. Leadership, like a muscle, can be strategically built and developed over time. Emerging Leaders is a year-long professional development cohort designed for KIPP MA teacher leaders seeking to strengthen their ability to lead strategically, authentically, and equitably. Emerging Leaders meet on a monthly basis to build a shared understanding of foundational leadership principles and contextualize these principles within participant’s roles at their respective schools. Through participation in Emerging Leaders, participants: 

  • Strengthen connections with other emerging leaders throughout the organization

  • Strengthen knowledge and skills in leadership domains that are key to being a successful teacher leader and/or school-level leader

  • Deepen self-awareness through a targeted coaching cycle, feedback analysis, and action planning.

-Farida Graham, Managing Director, Teacher & Leader Development


KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate teacher, Allen Wang, shares his story.

“As the son of working class immigrants, I was always told that education was the great equalizer. A strong education would provide one with an opportunity to a life of choice and freedom. While this playbook may have worked out for some individuals, it did not work for everyone due to various systemic and structural barriers, a fact that deeply troubled me. When I first started my teaching career at KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate in 2015, I worked hard to ensure that I was creating strong curricular material for each and every student to access. Each lesson plan was well differentiated and I often referenced engaging phenomena from real-world scenarios. However, the reality was that the traditional teaching model that I was so familiar with did not always work for everyone. Some students loved my class and others did not find the material engaging, which was painful for a new teacher to experience. I knew there had to be better ways to get everyone on board so I began experimenting with my teaching practice by providing students more voice and agency in the classroom. It started with a simple move such as allowing students to choose the way they wanted to study for exams. For larger activities/projects, students were given flexibility on what project they wanted to complete and they could propose a myriad of methods on how they wanted to tackle their projects. This move towards greater student empowerment proved to be transformational because not only were my students more engaged but they thrived and exceeded expectations! The projects that our students were producing won accolades from industry professionals and were featured in a number of engineering/science competitions, some which secured our school tens of thousands of dollars of funding to further improve our STEM programming! When the end of last school year came around, I was absolutely honored and humbled to be named a recipient of the 2021 Harriett Ball Excellence in Teaching Award, a moment that brought an incredible amount of joy and highlighted all the spectacular work that we have been able to accomplish. I am constantly reminded by the fact that our students do have the creativity, the skills, the knowledge, the wisdom and the passion to achieve greatness because I see it every single day. It is our job as educators to provide them with the tools and support to be successful and it has been an absolute privilege to be able to facilitate that learning each and every day. It is not my classroom. It is our classroom.”

#KIPP #KIPPMA #KALC #Educator #TeacherLeader #STEM #AAPIEducator #OurClassroom

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