Naomi Tsegaye, who’s in her first year of teaching, talks about the benefits, support and success of the On Track 4 Success program—for her students and for her. On Track 4 Success identifies and helps young students stay on track academically, with the goal of helping them obtain their high school diplomas. This means brighter futures for them and for our neighborhoods.
“I teach at Maree G. Farring Elementary/Middle School in South Baltimore. It’s very hard when you have a class of 28 kids. That’s what was so helpful about On Track 4 Success—students like Julian, who I couldn’t give my full attention to, had someone outside of the classroom to help him succeed. He completely changed by the end of the year. He was more invested in his academics and more invested in me as a teacher, and I think the program helped build that trust.
“Knowing my students have an established relationship with someone outside of the classroom is helpful. I don’t want them to think I’m the only one there or the only one who understands what they’re struggling with. Having another person who’s on their side is really helpful.”
And her students weren’t the only ones who received additional support. Ms. Tsegaye also had access to resources to help her—and her class—succeed.
“I regularly met with a team of seasoned teachers. It was helpful having a structured time to talk about our kids and being able to receive advice on how to handle certain situations that I probably wouldn’t have known how to handle before.
When I speak with my other first-year teacher friends, a lot of them don’t have the kind of support we do with United Way. Being the only one in the classroom—trying to teach and handle things like lack of attendance and behavior issues—is very difficult. This year, I felt like I had more support; I had someone to fall back on. It made me more confident in the classroom.”
Learn more about On Track 4 Success and how you can join the fight for education.