About Our Blog

Welcome to our blog! The teachers and administrators at Village Leadership Academy (Chicago, IL)  will give you an insider’s perspective of real issues, real stories, and real solutions to inner city education. Here is a brief look into who we are:

The achievement gap is alive, but we refuse to let it hinder our students and their potentials. We are a group of educators who recognize that the current education system continues to fail low income students every year. Therefore, we have created a new and upcoming school that aims to educate our population in a very different way.

Not only do we raise our teaching standards and expectations of our students across core subject areas, but this year, we are also creating and piloting a unique, rigorous, and social justice based teaching model to reform education on the elementary level (and eventually through the high school level). Through our innovative model (beginning at Kindergarten), we aim to empower and transform low income students from the West Side of Chicago into inspiring leaders of tomorrow.

As educators, we know the importance of assuring our students’ success, regardless of their background. However, we recognize that student success cannot and should not end at high grades, test scores, and graduation rates. Rather, educational success is a prerequisite for further leadership roles and global change. In this sense, we will teach our students that their whole education is not only a fundemental tool to go to college, obtain a job, and better their own lives, but it is also a crucial stepping stone to evaluate, challenge, and improve current social, economic, and environmental systems.

Read the experiences, stories, successes, challenges, and insights of all our teachers and administrators in their day to day lives as we enter our first year of really changing education, in which we prioritize social justice, critical thinking, and a global awareness mindset as much as we prioritize literacy, science, and math skills. At VLA, we are not only giving our kids academic skills, but also critical skills and global awareness. We are teaching kids a critical and analytical perspective of all regions of the world and its chronological history. Some of the topics each class will cover include their own communities, a critical and chronological world history that covers all regions throughout time, human patterns, the social construction of race, past and present justices and injustices, and global responsibility.

This year, we will experience and explore answers to these questions: Can young kids understand and care about big concepts? Can teachers find solutions to inner city education problems? Can educating students on social justice and critical thinking at a young age make a difference in their self image, their ambitions, and their overall development? What should social justice education look like? Can a rigorous, social justice, and innovative school transform a group of underprivileged children?

Our students and fellow educators will undoubtably face many adversities and successes ahead as we embark on this journey together as a school family.  Our kids are up against an entire perpetuating system of social, economic, and historical injustices that have followed them for too long. However, as educators, we will team with our students to relentlessly seek justice through education. Our staff firmly believes that not only will we teach our kids about justice (despite injustice in the world), but we will also spread justice through our children and their future successes.

Follow our journey and read our story…

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2 thoughts on “About Our Blog

  1. I see the winds of change coming and they are ringing the bells of justice, equality and human dignity. This is a very inspiring project that strikes at the core of what true education is about – transformatory and empowering.

    As an educator and professor, your program has made me reflect on what I ought to bring in my classes and to aim for in the courses I teach. Thank you!

  2. I’m so very impressed with just the UP nature of both your Blog and your Valley Leadership Academy website. And when you include your teachers in your writings, I believe half the “battle” is won. There is nothing like a staff on fire, a staff who believes in who they are, what they do and especially what they teach–and most importantly why and for whom and for what reason. You guys remind me of an old Oxford professor–who will always live each time I remember him–when I youthfully asked him to define professionalism and he said, “It’s when we do our work so well that the persons we serve don’t know if it’s our job…or our nature.”

    Congratulations to all of YOU! Your spirit is not driven by protocol, government or outside standards, rather–I believe–by love. And when driven by love in any way, you are driven by God.

    I do have one very respectful query. With such a great emphasis on social injustice, can you see a
    possibility of marring the “innocent” in students to “man as the problem” rather than stirring them
    to the “problems of man?”

    Again, blessings ans success be to you now and always.

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