School, community and policy leadership

January 24, 2014

Choose to Connect


When Isaac Pollack (Teach For America '06) took over as Principal of Carver High School, he quickly realized that this job was going to feel like mission impossible. Carver was a failing school in New Orleans that was phasing out—meaning that he had three years to catch up the remaining three grades before the school was closed down. His students were coming from the poorest neighborhoods in one of the most violent cities in the U.S. and had already seen five different principals fail in their attempts to turn the school around. Not only were his students years behind academically, they didn’t believe that change was possible. Isaac knew that if he and his staff were going to achieve their vision of catching up and graduating every student, they were going to have to make a decision—How will we choose to react in the face of these challenges?

To learn more about Carver High School and how Isaac expects growth, not perfection, from himself, his staff and his students click here.

Share your reflection: How can you turn the most challenging moments with your students into opportunities to connect with them and understand them better?