Kara Bryant — There Is No Greater Joy Than Watching Children Succeed


“Teachers, I believe, are the most responsible and important members of society because their professional efforts affect the fate of the earth.” Australian physician and author, Helen Caldicott, said this and I believe it. I have the utmost respect for teachers. They are under-payed, under-appreciated, and over-worked heroes that we should all take much better care of than we currently do. Teachers, you’re amazing! Huge virtual hug to each and every one of you today. 

Do you know who else believe the contents of the aforementioned Caldicott quote? Kara Bryant, my guest on the podcast today. She teaches at Village Leadership Academy in Chicago, IL. VLA is an elementary school that offers a “fresh new approach to teaching and learning that includes high lam standards, exposure to world history and geography, appreciation for cultural differences, the development of critical thinking and perspective taking skills, and socially just decision making.”

In our conversation, we talk about the challenges of teaching in an urban context, the joys of teaching in an urban context, training tomorrow’s leaders, why she became a teacher in the first place, and so much more.

  • Here’s a link to the #NoCopAcademy train takeover that Chance The Rapper retweeted.

  • Here is an article from Teen Vogue that featured last year’s GRC—a campaign to redistribute funding in Chicago in favor of underserved communities and schools, rather than on a new $95 million academy for cops.

  • Here is one (of many!) articles about VLA’s 5th grade class and their GRC. They are trying to rename Douglas Park by adding an “s” which would make the park named after Fredrick Douglass, rather than Stephen Douglas (an abolitionist vs. a slave holder). There’s also a beautiful video about this.

Amazing, right? Kara and the staff at VLA are doing incredible work. I’m so grateful for them and I’m so excited that these children get to be formed under the goals and vision of VLA. 

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Have an amazing week, friends! Love y’all!

Kara's students participated in a #NoCopAcademy train takeover!

Kara's students participated in a #NoCopAcademy train takeover!

podcastNick Laparra