Improving Louisiana’s education system one teacher at a time


POSTED: Friday, November 25, 2011 - 4:48pm

UPDATED: Saturday, November 26, 2011 - 11:59am

For Allecyn Gay, being a teacher means learning to appreciate the little things.

“Those small successes mean the most to me, and they're why I get up in the morning and continue to go back and teach,” she says.

The Georgia-native attended Southern University, and it was there that she noticed a lot of her peers playing catch up.

“That led me to believe that there's something that needs to be done here.”

Her realization that not all students were getting the things they needed out of their primary and secondary education led gay to join the Teach for America program in 2008.

“You dive in deep on the first day and it’s grueling work but it’s worth it in the end.”

Since then, Gay has worked in three different Baton Rouge schools. Right now, she teaches health and physical education at the Career Academy.

“Our mission at our school is to prepare students for post-secondary opportunities, not necessarily just going to college, but also career preparedness.”

There are lots of debates going on right now about the best way to prepare students for the future, but Gay says no one formula works for everyone.

“I wish that everyone would ask the students what it is that drives them, what keeps them coming to school everyday, and just get back to being about the students and how they're learning.”

Gay says there is one rule all schools should follow.

“The schools that have the child's best interest at heart will be successful and as long as teachers, administrators and politicians get back to that basic foundation then schools will turn themselves around.”

Today, she is hopeful that Louisiana education will continue to move forward and she is doing her best to make sure that happens.

“The biggest way for me to be part of the change is to do it on a daily basis, everyday as a teacher is a new beginning and there’s somebody’s life I can change.”

Gay urges people who are interested in education to apply for Teach for America. She says it made all the difference in her life.

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