“I wanted to be the person my students knew was there for them and believed in them.”
This week’s feature: Angela Powell, MEd
Computer Science/Engineering Teacher, MC2 Stem High School
We’ve interviewed some of the freshest educators we know. They operate from a place love, care, discipline and personal sacrifice on behalf of Cleveland's precious students. Let these stories honor ALL Cleveland teacher who do this important work every day!
What got you interested in becoming a teacher/principal?
Teaching is my second career, I actually went back to school to get a License/Masters in education. I was working in retail management and didn't feel like I was making a difference. I wanted to do more. I always loved school and knew the promise that Cleveland students had and wanted to be a role model for them as someone that lived and went to school in Cleveland and stayed here to give back. When I was in school I had teachers that did not believe in me and I still remember how that felt. I never wanted any student to feel like that and wanted to be the person my students knew was there for them and believed in them.
What might we catch you doing when you aren’t in the classroom?
Going to the movies with my son! Spending time with my family, laying on the couch watching Law and Order. LOL
Why does high quality education in Cleveland matter?
Cleveland kids matter! They deserve the same quality education just like other students in the greater Cleveland area. The truth is that they are just as smart and capable as any other student in the state and many of them go on to do BIG things after graduation that are life-changing for themselves and the community.
What is the most challenging thing about your work?
Reaching every student and keeping every student engaged.
Tell us about a time that you knew that you made a difference in a young person’s life.
I'm not sure there's one moment that sticks out. What keeps me going is the different relationships I have with the kids. They make me laugh even when I want to yell. They make me smile even when I feel like crying. Every day brings something new. I don't think I’ve ever had a day where I haven't at least smile once while I'm at work.
Tell us about a time your life was changed/impacted by a student or because of a student.
I knew that all it took was a little love and time when one of my students finally had a breakthrough with me. He was finally open to trusting me and performing for me. When I met this student, he was in kindergarten. He was nonverbal and wore a monkey backpack with a tail that his classroom teacher had to hold because he was a runner. I can remember having to chase him around the room and block the doors so he wouldn't get out my class. Patience is what I needed to get to him! Over the next 3 years I found out his interests and was patient with him. By the time he was in 4th grade he was reading books to me! That experience with him impacted me. It gave me hope and made me proud to be a teacher.
What would be your message to your peers?
When you feel like giving up... Just keep swimming!!!