After a rigorous selection process, Arkansas Teacher Corps has chosen five Summer Mentors for the 2021 Institute, tentatively scheduled for June 1-July 16. Ava Hollins-Rogers (ATC ’20), Darrah Maxfield (ATC ’19), Elizabeth Kuker (TFA ’15), and Tory Cottle (TFA ’15) will join returning mentor Jamie Powell (ATC ’18) in guiding new fellows through the seven-week virtual training.
Ava Hollins-Rogers is a 2020 ATC fellow and has taught elementary (K-6) education for three years. She is currently teaching 6th grade math at Maddux Elementary School in West Memphis, where she also serves as a member of the school’s leadership team. Ava’s advice for this summer: “Beautiful days begin with beautiful mindsets”
Darrah Maxfield is a 2019 ATC fellow and has taught middle school (4-8) math at North Little Rock Middle School for two years. She also served as a summer intern for the 2018 summer institute. Darrah’s advice for this summer from Charles Darwin: “It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one that is most adaptable to change”
Elizabeth Kuker was a 2015 Teach For America corps member and has taught early elementary (1st-3rd grade) education for four years. In addition to being a member of the TFA-Arkansas “Rising Leaders” cohort in 2016, she has also served as a member of the school leadership team and response-to-intervention chair at Central Elementary in Dumas. Liz’s advice for the summer: “Give yourself the same grace you give your kids.”
Tory Cottle was a 2015 Teach For America corps member and taught secondary (7-12) science at Central High School in Helena-West Helena for four years. In addition to serving as a science content facilitator for ATC, she currently serves as a student opportunities coordinator with KIPP Delta Public Schools and a web development instructor with Kode with Klassy. Tory’s advice for the summer from Marianne Williamson: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.”
Jamie Powell is a 2018 ATC fellow and has taught 5th grade math at Scholarmade Achievement Place in Little Rock for three years. At her school, she serves as teacher-leader fellow and member of the school management team. Jamie also served as an ATC summer mentor in 2020. Jamie’s advice for the summer: “Every Summer Institute I’ve been a part of has been a blast. 2021 Fellows, get ready for a summer full of laughter, learning, and growing into your new ATC family!”
Summer mentors will be the first point-of-contact for a group of four to six fellows as they gain foundational knowledge and develop skills to be effective teachers. Mentors will work collaboratively with the summer directors to build and sustain a supportive, growth-oriented culture for fellows to improve their practices.
Mentors will give weekly feedback to each fellow on instruction, classroom management, and work/life balance through lesson and unit planning, regular observations, and weekly coaching debriefs. Mentors will also guide Fellows in self-assessing their strengths and areas for growth (both personally and professionally) while setting clear expectations and maintain a solutions-focused and growth-oriented approach at all time.