Meet your Colleagues: Denali in New Orleans

Name: Denali Lander
Site: New Orleans
Subject taught: Humanities (Language Arts and Social Studies combined)
School: Tulane University – Senior

Two weeks into the program, and I cannot believe how much I have already learned and more importantly, how much fun I’ve had. Since high school, I have wanted to become a teacher, and this experience has already provided great insight into the profession. I absolutely adore the kids I’m working with and the peers with whom I’m teaching.

One of my biggest concerns before beginning work at Breakthrough regarded playing the role of disciplinarian with the students. I have a “pleaser personality,” so being firm with expectations and discipline was certainly a concern of mine. Already, I’ve had to address this concern, and I have found that discipline and structure is what some of these kids need most. While I still feel incredibly close with my students for only having taught them for a week (which is so great), I feel like I have also established a system of high expectations for them. It has been a whirlwind of a couple weeks. It’s certainly had its bumps and stressors, but I am so excited for the remainder of the summer. It is a hard job but because of the people I work with, it is undoubtedly worth it.

Thanks so much,
Denali Lander

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