Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
Brooklyn, New York
2016 Classroom Teacher Ambassador Fellow
Social Studies Teacher, High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology
Bio/Overview: Arthur Everett is a social studies teacher and a special education teacher support service provider at the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology (HSTAT) in Brooklyn, New York. Before his ten year career at HSTAT, Arthur served as a special education teacher at the Secondary School for Journalism, also in Brooklyn. Despite coming from a family of educators, Arthur’s passion for teaching did not emerge until the aftermath of 9/11, when he was fueled by the devastating loss to create meaningful change for the next generation. Ever since, Arthur has been dedicated to the teaching craft and has become a collaborative teacher leader. In pursuit of his third Master’s degree, Arthur is a lifelong learner who makes a point of incorporating his own educational experiences into his teaching.
Educational Values/Philosophy: My personal philosophy of education is an amalgam of several proverbs that speak to my personal and professional beliefs. The first comes from Proverbs 29:1without a vision, the people perish. Educational leaders must be visionaries. We must be able to see possibilities, to call into being futures unwritten as of yet. And, more than see visions, educational leaders must be able to communicate their visions clearly, to garner support, and to shepherd their visions into existence. My experience as a special education teacher affects my overall vision of schools as inclusive spaces that consider the needs of all students. Fundamentally, every learner is “special” and has different needs, learning styles, and preferences. Inclusion in this regard would see teachers, staff, and parents better educated to deal with these differences. Furthermore, physical spaces and improved technology would assist inclusion.
The second tenant of my educational philosophy arises from the African proverb it takes an entire village to raise a child. The responsibility for communal investment in children falls to everyone, from parents and extended family to neighborhoods and society at large. If we viewed all children as our own, we would be more likely to show compassion, to teach tolerance, to fight injustice and to love without condition. Similarly, children would learn that they have a place in a world where elders, and not merely parents, are to be revered and respected. I would that every child has a safe and rigorous learning environment that prepares her/him to function independently in the world. More, I believe that everyone within the school building is important to the welfare of the children, from the security guards, lunch ladies and custodial engineers, to secretaries, coaches and assistant principals.
Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D. had a saying, that children learn what they live. Learning in the abstract is fine for adults, but children are more literal and make strong connections to their experiences. An example is the child who grows up as a transient learns that life is uncertain and unsteady. Conversely, the child who lives in one home for the entirety of his childhood learns stability and security. As an educational leader, I believe that all of the school experience should be authentic and reflect the academic, moral and social challenges that will prepare student to make informed decisions and advocate for themselves.
The final proverb I base my educational philosophy on is the tried and true axiom, practice what you preach. ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ is hypocrisy. I believe the responsibility of teaching by example falls to parents as primary teacher and then to teachers and adults in general to practice what we preach. Children are very keen observers who can spot disingenuousness a mile off; so are parents, pedagogues, faculty and staff members. Insincerity robs leaders of their credibility, and the result is mutiny or disillusionment. A leader that is too proud or insecure to admit to being fallible or to think himself above any task in the service of the organization risks losing the respect and loyalty of his followers. How can a leader expect less of himself than anyone else? The real saying should be, “Don’t do as I say, do as I do.”
Achievements: In 2016, Everett was chosen to serve on both the New York State Education Department (NYSED) ELA Standards Review Committee to adopt ELA standards in accordance with the Every Student Succeeds Acts (ESSA) and the NYSED Social Studies Content Advisory Panel. Everett was also selected as 2016 Education Policy Fellow by America Achieves. In October 2015, Everett was selected by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans as a featured African American teacher of excellence in the U.S. Department of Education’s The Teacher’s Edition. In 2003, Arthur founded the Charcole Artists Network in New York City, implementing a 140-hour course in magazine publishing for 75 Bronx high school students and publishing an issue of a teen lifestyle magazine called WHAT? Magazine.
Leadership Experience: Everett is currently a New York State Educator Voice Fellow with America Achieves, a position that allows him to employ social media in public forums to advise policy makers and elevate teacher perspective. Arthur also plays an integral leadership role at his school, HSTAT, where he has been a member of the School Leadership Team since 2008. Currently, Everett is a 12th Grade Instructional Leader on the Instructional Lead Team, collaborating with the school principal and the teaching staff to reach instructional goals and facilitating weekly professional development meetings with 12th grade teachers. As a member of three teacher committees and the School Leadership Team, he is responsible for working with the school community to manage HSTAT’s goals and design systems to gather and analyze student performance data. At the district level, Everett is a Social Studies Curriculum writer where he serves presently as the senior teacher on the 11th Grade team writing curriculum for the US History and Government course. Everett has also served as a Social Studies 9-12 Core Curriculum Textbook Reviewer and as a Senior Common Core Fellow, Social Studies for the NYC Department of Education. He currently serves as a member of the EQuIP Peer Review Panel at Achieve, Inc., evaluating curriculum and publishing developer feedback. Everett has spoken about advances in instructional practice at Achieve, Inc.’s Annual Meeting for State Leaders and National Partners and at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention.
Affiliations: National Council for History Education, National Council of Teachers of English, United Federation of Teachers, American Federation of Teachers., Achieve, Inc., America Achieves
Education: Arthur Everett graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Behavior and Management and American Civilization. He received his Master of Education in Teaching Urban Adolescents with Disabilities from Long Island University. Everett is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Teaching at Columbia University, Teachers’ College and another Master’s degree in Education Leadership and Administration from the College of Saint Rose.
Areas of Interest:
- Common Core Instructional Standards
- Curriculum and Teaching
- Equity in Teacher Recruitment, Hiring, and Retention
- Professional Development
- Special Education
- Teacher Leadership