Alumni Spotlight: Tameka Wingo
- When did you graduate from Relay, and where do you teach now?
As a Teach for America Corps Member, I earned my certificate and Master of Arts in Teaching from Relay in 2018. I’m currently a 4th grade teacher at New Castle Elementary in the Colonial School District, located outside of Wilmington, Delaware. I’m also in my second year as a Relay Resident Advisor, meaning that I mentor a current Relay teaching resident.
- Did you always want to teach?
I wanted to be a teacher when I was a child but life took me a different path. After 8 years working in marketing for a Fortune 500 company, I felt the need to do something more purposeful as far as my career.
- What do you love about teaching?
I love seeing my students grow academically as well as socially. I have had many students this year who are shy- they would refuse to answer in class, they didn’t really socialize, and it seemed like speaking aloud pained them. To see them participating in class with confidence, making friends, solving the problems of a 4th grader, warms my heart. My students take responsibility for their academic growth. They check in on their benchmarks and set goals for themselves. I love watching them grow.
- How has the pandemic impacted your teaching?
The pandemic has had its challenges. When we were virtual, it was hard to know if students understood content, you had to be creative in how you build relationships with your students and families, and sometimes it felt as if I was talking to dead air. Coming back into the building was exciting but also scary. Our rooms did not look the same, we had to keep our distance, and we couldn’t do pods or small group tables, etc. This is on top of the learning loss that we saw from a lot of students. Things are getting back to what normal is going to look like now, and we will have more of a sense of security in our classrooms and our ability to help our students.
- What’s your favorite memory from this year?
My favorite memory was a lesson we did around life in the Middle Ages. My students were very interested in the differences between how they lived and how we live. We talked about it for days whenever they could fit it into conversation. From this lesson we reenacted a battle scene - which was amazing. Their teamwork and attention to the details of the battle was awesome to watch.
- How has Relay contributed to your growth as an educator?
Relay has allowed me an opportunity to enhance my leadership skills. It allows me to be reflective, to practice observing and giving feedback. It keeps me updated on best teaching practices and allows me to help bring in and retain new educators.
- How do you hope to continue to grow?
I hope to continue to grow and enhance my leadership skills. This will help me as a teacher/partner, team lead, and hopefully a leader in my district in the future.
Thank you Ms. Wingo, for your amazing hard work on behalf of your students, community, and the Relay Resident that you coach!