I think that the job of a teacher—educating the next generation to ask questions, solve problems, and think critically about the world around them—is one of the most important jobs that exists.”

Ginna’s Story

Ginna’s earliest experiences with school mathematics were simultaneously empowering and limiting: though they equipped her with confidence from a young age, these experiences also imbued her with the idea that she was a “math person,” and that math ability was fixed.

Thankfully, her math experiences were radically different in college. She got to work with professors who let her struggle, who let her fail, and who helped her see that mathematics is not about speed, accuracy, or being right—that in fact the most powerful knowledge is forged in the voids of not knowing. These professors helped her develop persistence, an inquisitive spirit, and a passion for learning. 

The goal of empowering others with this same curiosity, growth mindset, and love of learning was what initially drew Ginna to teaching. However, in her graduate studies, she began to see that teaching is about much more than academic content. She began to see education as a source of tremendous inequity, but also as an avenue for justice. 

Ginna has continued to focus on equity and justice in her teaching. She is constantly working to incorporate social justice content into lessons, to utilize student-centered instructional techniques, and to center socio-emotional learning in her practice. Currently, she is inquiring into the ways that her identity, particularly as a white woman, manifests in her practice and in her classroom culture. As she continues to educate herself on anti-racism, Ginna is learning that she has a lot of work to do to decolonize her classroom. She hopes that by collaborating more with her students and colleagues, she can begin to create a learning environment where many ways of learning, knowing, and being are not just trivially represented, but are centered and valued. 

Ginna is excited and thankful for the opportunity to continue working and learning with Knowles Fellows as a Team 2 Specialist, because the Knowles community constantly provides her with new, powerful perspectives on teaching and learning.