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Maya Coen

The Residency Program Impact

Programming / April 23, 2024
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This blog has been adapted from an interview with Maya Coen, cohort 6 teacher resident at The Educator Academy and teacher at Kansas City International Academy (KCIA), in which she discusses the residency and its impact on her. A staff member formatted this to fit a blog, making edits solely for readability purposes.

What is the teacher residency program?

The Educator Academy’s teacher residency is a one-year residency followed by a three-year teaching commitment. Teacher residents serve within a mentor teacher’s classroom at schools across the KC metro four days a week while also attending certification and master’s level coursework one day and one evening a week. After the residency year is complete, our program participants will become certified teachers of record and continue their journey teaching at a partner school. Over the next three years, our participants continue to receive coaching and development support to grow as educators. 

What impact has the vision, mission, and values had on you? 

Maya Coen, speaks to us about the benefits of The Educator Academy and the support the program provided her during her residency year and even now as a graduate. At The EA, our work is deeply human and our vision, mission, and values guide our beliefs and work every day. For Maya, the two values that resonate with her are love and growth. She says that she saw so much growth within her practice from before joining the EA to now, feeling like she is confident and capable of so much. “To see myself as this professional woman walking into the classroom and all that doubt that I’ve had before has just gone away because I’m doing something impactful and I feel supported.”

Maya spoke on the main value that has kept her going: ” The value of love is also something that I’ve taken seriously. When you put that love into these students, and you put that love into your work every day by putting that into your students, you get that in return.” Love was something that Maya felt like as a resident,she received  daily from every staff member at The EA and, most importantly, her cohort. 

How do you Fostering Inclusivity in the Classroom?

Fostering inclusivity in the classroom is something that we teach our educators to strive to do every day. It is a huge part of who we are as an organization because students should feel included, no matter their background. As Zarretta Hammond eloquently states in her book Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain, “Culturally responsive teaching recognizes the importance of including students’ cultural backgrounds in all aspects of learning,” emphasizing the significance of embracing diversity and honoring the unique identities of each student. By promoting inclusivity in our classrooms, we create a more supportive and enriching learning environment and empower our students to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

When we spoke with Maya, she talked about how she relates to her students by showing up and being human. Something as simple as letting them know that it is okay to talk about how you are coming into the day or classroom. “Something I do is talk about mental health. I tell my students daily how I’m feeling.” Maya believes that you can meet your students where they are, and in return, they will meet you where you are. 

What is your Greatest Residency Program Impact Moment?

There are many experiences during the residency program that leave a lasting impact on members.  Whether during Summer Institute with their fellow residents, or in the classroom with students, every memory is significant. For Maya, completing her master’s degree through our partnership with UMKC was one of the most impactful moments of her experience.” The residency year and this program just felt completely different from my undergrad. I’m a first-generation college student, and I’m also the first-generation college student to get my master’s degree. I would’ve never thought I would get here. My mom was born and raised in the Philippines. And to have a mom who immigrated here and her highest form of education be high school, I was able just to make my family proud and to walk across the stage meant a lot to me.” 

The Educator Academy is so happy for Maya and her experience so far in the program. We hope learning about Maya Coen has inspired you and may piqued your desire to become an educator. If you are interested in joining our program and making an impact on education and its students, head to our application and apply today