Kim Everett, History Teacher
A: This is my fifteenth year at BCCS. During my time here, I’ve taught fifth and sixth grade history and held the positions of ELL coordinator, advisory coordinator, and history department chair.
Q: How and why did you first enter the education world? Did you always know that you would be in education?
A: I studied History of Religion in college, but all of my extracurricular interests (coaching, refereeing, etc.) were centered around kids. I came to be a teacher through an alternate teaching route in New Jersey, where I taught for a few years before teaching in Namibia. When I came back to the US, I found a position in an alternative school, and eventually found my way to BCCS, which was a very small, urban school at the time. I didn’t know that I would end up in teaching so long as I made it through my first year, but as soon as I had that year under my belt, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Q: Why did you join BCCS and how does it compare to other work experiences you have had?
A: BCCS was a nice mixture of my previous experiences and held the same standards for kids of all populations. I wanted to work somewhere like that – a place that works for all students, a place that believes that whoever we are serving, that student can succeed and go to college.
Q: You have seen the school change during your time here. What are some of those changes, and alternatively, what has not changed?
A: An obvious change is that we are a much bigger school than when I started. What was one office shared by all teachers and staff has become three schools on two campuses, with slightly, and understandably, different identities. What hasn’t changed is the reflective and committed practice that the school grows in people to continue doing as much and whatever they can for the students in front of them every day. Our mission of preparing each student for college has remained the core of what we do.
Q: What are the most important lessons you try to teach your students?
A: As far as skills go, I try to emphasize the value in questions and identifying what is unknown so that they can grow to learn it. I want my kids to know that it’s okay to not know something, that realizing what you don’t know and asking questions is how you tackle new knowledge. In terms of content, my class focuses specifically on U.S. History from the abolition movement up to the Civil Rights era, with a lens on the mistakes and injustices that have happened in our country, and how people over time worked to correct these mistakes and make the US a better country. I want them to understand the power that even a single individual has to stand up and cause a culture shift, and that this process is still happening today, and they can be a part of continuing to change our country for the better.
Q: What has kept you at BCCS?
A: The constant reflection on what is working and what isn’t. At many other schools, the thought is that after year three, you’re either a perfect teacher, or you need to find a new job. Here, people share the spirit that there is always room to grow. We are dedicated to our mission, and we aren’t reactive, but we are willing to consider new ideas about how to address issues – we aren’t afraid of change. Once in a conversation with a former teacher here, we likened working here like being in a rowboat – you’re working with incredible people who keep rowing, rowing, and you don’t want to be the one that stops. I feel fortunate to have found this school that is genuinely doing the right thing for students and is a place where teachers also grow and learn good habits.
Q: What makes your work meaningful?
A: Seeing my students work really hard and realizing their successes. They are legitimately stunned to learn some of the things that have happened in US History and are equally taken aback by the sacrifices people have made to make our country a better place; I think that is a valuable thing to learn to create as many advantages and opportunities for yourself as possible.
Q: Twenty years from now, how do you think you’ll describe your experience at BCCS?