20 Years of Building Communities, Engagement, and World Changers

On any given day, Brandi Jackson’s scholars may have NASA engineers as guests, be growing butterflies, or have parents helping out with activities. It’s what makes Ms. Jackson’s class different. After 20 years as an educator and teaching elementary grade scholars, she knows their path to changing the world begins in her classroom at DP Congress Heights.

For Ms. Jackson, school is much different than when she was growing up. She knows there are many more things that capture a scholar’s attention, and leaving an indelible mark is difficult but can be accomplished. So letting her scholars know that they are part of a team and finding ways to have them be engaged in activities is crucial.

“The work I do is hands-on – It centers around helping to foster classroom community and engagement with scholars,” she said. “The scholars need a clear opportunity to showcase their talents and this is one way that I find helps to turn a spotlight on that aspect.”

But fostering a classroom community goes beyond the scholars. Whether it’s a town hall, helping in the classroom, or helping in some other activity, Ms. Jackson’s relationship with parents has created partnerships that have led to scholars who enjoy learning and succeed.

“The partnership is essential to classroom management and a high performing class. The parents are the key to that success. I give them a tremendous amount of credit.”

It can be a bold task to play as meaningful a role as a teacher does in a student’s life. But for Ms. Jackson, who has impacted the lives of countless children who will change the world, it’s always rewarding.

“Sometimes you just have no idea how much of an impact you’ve made until something happens. Someone I taught over ten years ago contacted me today to let me know the important role that I played in his life. That is such a powerful thing. But it reminds me of just how important this work is and it’s further affirmation that it is the most important job in the world.”

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