Ambassador Spotlight: Denshauna White
Ambassadors are Relay students and alumni who have chosen to share their stories as teachers and graduate students so that others can learn what it takes and get inspired to join teaching. You can find Denshauna on Instagram @denlovesu and on Facebook under Shauna White. Follow her there for more stories!
5 Questions for Denshauna White
1. Where and what do you teach?
I currently teach 5th grade math at KIPP Texas Public Schools. In 2023-24, I’ll also be the math department chair. I am just about to finish up my two year Relay Master of Arts in Teaching, Teacher Residency Program in June 2023.
2. Why did you decide to become a teacher?
Becoming a teacher was my childhood dream. I spent my Saturdays teaching my dolls and teddy bears. In college, I really enjoyed tutoring elementary kids at an after school program as well as being the social work intern at a middle school. Even though I graduated with bachelors and masters degrees in social work, my passion for teaching never went away. In 2020, I joined City Year New York (an Americorps program) where I was a teacher assistant and after school coordinator. There I decided to revisit my dream and apply for the Relay Teaching Residency Program and made the move to Houston.
3. How did your Relay experience help you grow as a teacher?
Some of the most important things I’ve learned at Relay are classroom management, how to build positive relationships, and differentiating instruction for students. These skills all help me to build equity and a positive learning environment in my classroom.
I enjoyed having online classes, understanding professors and advisors, and the cost effectiveness throughout my Relay experience. I’m grateful for my classmates as they didn’t hesitate to lend a helping hand as we are all in this together. I’m grateful that many of us made it to the end as it wasn’t an easy journey but we persevered - juggling full time jobs and school and now we can reap our rewards.
I enjoyed having online classes, understanding professors and advisors, and the cost effectiveness throughout my Relay experience.
4. There is a lot of talk about teachers leaving the profession. What makes you stay? What keeps you going?
One of our values at KIPP is “Persisting with Purpose” and that’s exactly what I’ve learnt to do. It’s not an easy task but everyday I show up and I know I have a job to do. I want to give back to the kids opportunities and resources I did not have as a child and teach them to believe in themselves. I want to be that positive role model in that life that keeps them striving for excellence while also having someone to confide in because relationships are important. They teach me as much as I teach them.
5. What are your hopes for yourself as an educator?
The best thing about teaching this year was having my own classroom as I entered the Lead teacher role, learning from my mistakes last year, and finding new opportunities to bring joy. I want to continue growing as an educator and building positive relationships with my students, their families, and my coworkers.
Thank you to Ms. White for being a Relay Brand Ambassador and for all of the amazing work you do for your students and community!