The Project L.I.F.T. Difference

Thanks so much to Ms. J.J. Tyler, a Multi-Classroom Leader at Ranson IB MS. She is new to Project L.I.F.T. this year, but has fallen in love with the L.I.F.T. culture of coaching within Opportunity Culture

Read about her experience and consider joining our team.

The Project L.I.F.T. Difference
By Jennifer Tyler, MAT, NBCT
6th Grade Math MCL, Ranson IB Middle School

Coming into the Project L.I.F.T. family this year has been the reset and revitalization of passion for my craft and career that I truly needed. Project L.I.F.T. and Ranson IB are the leaders in the movement to get education for historically underserved populations back on track and headed in the right direction: up!

The first reason is because of the strong culture that Project L.I.F.T. has cultivated, in a multifaceted way. In education, the general culture that I have experienced is one of secrecy and competition amongst those of us who should be sharing the most. There are many reasons for this including competition for the highest test scores, recognition, etc. The people that this type of culture hurts are the very reason we do this job: the scholars. The culture is drastically different in Project L.I.F.T. Here, no one minds sharing the great things they are doing so that others can duplicate and build on what has been done. This is what is best for all scholars. Who wins when this type of culture is built? Everyone! But, mostly the scholars.

The current climate of society “beats up” on our scholars in many ways, but Project L.I.F.T. has built a culture of uplifting our scholars. This has truly warmed my heart. I prefer to work in Title I schools. It is where I feel that support is needed the most, but it is also where I feel most rewarded and where I feel that I can do my best work. As a result, I have worked in four Title I schools (out of six schools total). Here I have found the most uplifting and motivational culture I have ever been a part of! Here, scholars’ culture is not just celebrated in a once-per-year program or a specially designated month. This is the daily norm. At Ranson IB, we strive to support our scholars’ culture each and every day, which translates to our scholars taking extreme pride in being a Raider. It also drastically cuts down on the behavior issues we have. Issues that I have seen consistently being problematic in my experiences in Title I schools are minute here. I strongly believe it is because scholars here feel understood, supported, believed in, and genuinely cared about. This is evident in everything we do with and for our scholars. Many of our teachers track their scholars and stay involved with them all the way through high school (all Project L.I.F.T. schools feed into West Charlotte) and then through college when possible.

Coming into the Project L.I.F.T. family has been epic for me because of the training and support I have received. Last year, I was an MCL outside of Project L.I.F.T. and I can tell you that this year has literally been career changing! I have entered a place where coaching IS the culture and the struggle to get teachers to buy into the coaching model is nonexistent! Here, coaching is the norm. Every single certified instructional staff member and administrative staff member have a coach, all the way up to the principal. Teachers are receptive to feedback and show growth in their craft much faster than I’ve ever seen!

Read Ms. Tyler’s second post on how Project L.I.F.T. gets Opportunity Culture right.


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