2017 PFIG Recipient Zoe Serratelli
Journal Entry #1
I have now been working for the Office of Instructional Practice at DC Public Schools for two weeks. I am currently working on the organization and management of the summer time professional development conferences. DCPS is sending Central Office Staff, Principals, Assistant Principals, and LEAP Leaders all over the country to learn about the latest best practices for teaching. I have spent my time writing out travel memos explaining how the concepts staff members learn at these conferences will better the environment of DCPS, registering participants, and coordinating payments and reimbursements. I am also helping with the roll out of a new web-based platform that teachers within DCPS will use to sign up for professional development sessions and track their credits towards renewing their teaching license. In fact, tomorrow I will be co-running a "How To" presentation for facilitators. In this short amount of time I have learned an immense amount about the interworking of the school district.
Journal Entry #2
My summer interning at D.C. Public Schools so far has been rewarding, challenging, and at times, frustrating. Now past the halfway point in my internship, it is amazing to reflect on how much I have learned, but also bittersweet because I know my time with DCPS is coming to a close.
Recently, most of my time has been dedicated to designing an interface for DCPS’s Professional Development Department. I have gotten the opportunity to collaborate with curriculum-focused departments to design functional sessions for DCPS teachers to get them prepared and engaged for the upcoming school year. It has been invaluable to see the education “best practices” I have learned about in classes at UVA put to work in a school system that has a range of diverse needs and problems.
I have enjoyed working in an environment as energized and innovative as DCPS immensely. As I reflect on this summer and look towards the future, I am excited about the possibility of using this internship as a jumping off point for immersing myself more deeply in strengthening the public education system.
Journal Entry #3
I spent the last few weeks of my internship preparing for the first Pre-Service District Lead Professional Development Day for Extended Year School teachers and Traditional Year School teachers. I helped to set up the website for teachers to sign up for sessions, trouble shoot creation issues that the subject area teams ran into, and running the new teacher check in on site. I had the opportunity to learn communication and logical skills that you cannot learn in a classroom. For example, many real-time challenges came up and required flexibility and persistence to overcome. Having many moving parts and unclear communication paths between a variety of participants made coordinating the Professional Development Day difficult, but it was rewarding because once my team and I overcame those challenges we were able to complete the first successful Professional Development Day of the 2017/2018 school year.
My internship with DC Public Schools has solidified my career path. I am now completely confident in my choice to teach and then move into the administrative/policy side of education. I will be applying to Teach For America, along with a few other alternative certification programs that will allow me to teach straight out of college. My goal right now is to spend the next few years teaching high school level English, preferably in an urban environment. This summer led me to put many ideas that in my head into actionable goals and know I know that I want to dedicate my life to improving the education system for as many students as possible.