How I Teach: For Natasha Smith, KIPP Memphis Collegiate is more than a workplace, it’s home.

By Latest News Post Team

Some families are related by blood, and other families, like the team at KIPP Memphis Collegiate Middle School, form because of a shared connection. Natasha Smith, the school’s assistant principal, says she considers her co-workers and students her family because they stand together or are “ten toes down for each other.”

Smith earned her administrator’s license in 2010, but before she became a school leader, she was a science and math teacher and has now worked as an educator for nearly two decades. This year Smith hired one of her former students as a teacher.

“It made my heart full because I remember just like it was yesterday when she was in the hallways doing the same thing that the students are doing now. We went through the ups and downs of teacher and student interactions,” said Smith. “I feel like this is my child that is now a teacher; this is how I feel when I see her every day.”

Smith, who has degrees in social work and education, spoke recently with Chalkbeat about how she builds and maintains strong bonds with colleagues and students and how the school has worked to boost attendance during the COVID years.

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