As a teacher at KIPP DC Heights Academy in the Anacostia neighborhood, I was very excited to hear that one of our school visits would be at a fellow KIPP region.
During the visit to KIPP LA’s KIPP Empower Academy, I had a really powerful realization: As I looked around the campus, I saw so many things reminiscent of my school.
This goes beyond the superficial features, like our uniforms or logos. On a deeper level, we both use ChromeBooks as our main student technology, we serve similar underserved populations, and there’s significant overlap in the instructional technology programs we are using.
So much about this trip has been focused on seeing schools that are doing things radically different from our own, often with different student populations and class setups. This is extraordinarily powerful as we are tasked with innovating in education in D.C.
Our trip to KIPP was powerful to me, though, because it showed me that with a few moderate changes, my school can shift to a blended model. We have the technology, we have the infrastructure, and we have the smart educators who are devoted to students. KIPP Empower showed how close we already are.
With this work, I often think about the “someday/Monday” paradigm. We have so many things we want to do “someday”—like end educational inequity. However, we have students on Monday. KIPP Empower showed that, with some collaboration, next Monday or the one after isn’t too soon to start blended learning with my kiddos.
Blair Mishleau, 2015 Education Innovation Fellow
KIPP DC Heights Academy