ATC Selects Summer Mentors for Institute 2021

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), and Elizabeth Kuker (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.”

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.