Meet City Schools

  • September 2017

    Nisa LittleNisa Little

    Teacher, Edgewood Elementary School
     
    I teach 4th grade literacy and social studies at Edgewood Elementary School. Also, I am co-sponsor of the Edgewood Step Team and the debate coach.

    I graduated from Norfolk State University with a degree in Political Science.

    I have many connections with City Schools. First and foremost, I am a product of this great city’s public education system! I graduated from Western High School in 2010. Additionally, during the summers of 2012 and 2013 I was granted the opportunity to join the CEO's internship program where I worked closely with Dr. Santelises in the CAO’s office. I am now going into my second year teaching with the city.

    Before I joined City Schools, I did many things. One of which was working in Government Relations. I worked for a transportation company in Virginia where I worked on a campaign to gain public support for a new and improved interconnected system.

    If I could have a cup of coffee with any of my former teachers or mentors, it would be Ms. Goodman. Unfortunately, she passed this year without me having had the opportunity to sit with her after my high school year. She was a dance instructor at Western when I attended.  She was a woman of caliber.  The way she walked and talked commanded my attention because of her grace and passion. I always admired her poise because she simply radiated. She always encouraged in a unique way whenever I was close to failing or giving up. I would have loved to talk to her about how she was able to maintain her grace while working in such a demanding field. I would have loved to chat with her about how she poured so much into her students and still managed to have some left for herself and her family. 

    My favorite movie is The Fifth Element, and it has been ever since I was a child. I still have my original VHS copy from when I was younger. I think that the movie was a great concept. This movie was created in the 90s, but it was about a future time period, the 2000s. That forward thinking amazed me. I laugh still at the movie because we are not quite there yet with hovering cars. Nonetheless the world has transformed since the 90s and the movie is able to articulate that message.

    One thing that many people may not know about my role is how involved I am in my school even as a new teacher. Many people gave me advice as a new teacher to not over-commit myself because I would still need a lot of space and time to develop my craft. Although, I do agree with that statement, I also feel like it is important to be a contributor to my school beyond my classroom. That is why as a second-year teacher I have committed to collaborating with the teachers in my school to teach step to our third- to fifth-grade students in order to foster sisterhood, dedication and fortitude. Additionally, I am able to work with the Instructional Leadership Team looking at the instruction of the school as whole.

    One thing that many people may not know about me is that I am extremely creative and silly. When you visit my classroom, you may not always see that simply because structure and behavior management is important to me as strong foundation for great instruction. However, my students and I have a great time and I am able to emphasize the fun in learning!

    When I was growing up, I wanted to be a lawyer. My passion still remained as I shifted my focus to my sophomore year to advocate for marginalized communities.

    The most interesting thing about my role is every day is literally completely different from the next.

    I believe that one of the best ways to help students reach their potential is to empower them to take risks, fail, learn, and then thrive. I normalize mistakes in my classroom. This encourages my students to have perseverance and resiliency.

    The one thing that I am most looking forward to this year is a new set of students and a chance to try new ideas. I have some great ideas I want to bring to my classroom around arts integration from working with Young Audiences this summer, and restorative practices and student mindfulness from listening to the CEO's speeches on student wholeness. I am excited to see my students’ responses to the new things that I am able to try.