San Jose, California
Subject: AP Calculus and AP Statistics
Education: BA, Classical Languages (Greek, Latin), UC Santa Barbara
WHO WE ARE • TEACHERS » Jane Rieder
How have you grown as a leader at Summit?
As a teacher at Summit, I have a voice, and I can help shape important decisions at our school. Last year I had concerns about our school laptop policy, which at the time didn’t allow students to take their school laptops home. I knew that a significant number of our students did not have computer access outside of school so I made the case that we couldn’t expect students to do significant schoolwork outside of the school without adjusting our policies. I was passionate about changing this policy because it seemed like an equity issue to me, and I knew that our school deeply values equitable access for all students.
I worked closely with our technology team to launch a small pilot program to allow some students at our school to take their laptops home. First, we did a survey of our school to understand the need better. We found that approximately 15% of our students did not have consistent access to an internet-enabled computer at home. We also gathered data on students’ experiences during the pilot program and how it impacted their study habits. Equipped with this information, we presented our findings to Summit’s leadership team including our CEO. This year, we have moved to a model where all students take their laptops home every night. It’s fulfilling to know that I played a role in changing our school laptop policy to better serve our students and, in doing so, strengthen my role as a leader in our organization.
How does Summit support your growth as a teacher?
I love that I have a coach. I have been teaching for six years, and I still value my weekly meetings with my Director, who helps me to meet specific goals.
Expeditions is also a big component of my development. Students at Summit have four, 2-week sessions throughout the year during which they step away from their core courses and immerse themselves in areas of interest like photography or arts. During Expeditions teachers are also able to step back and focus on their professional development. I can work on an upcoming unit plan and attend targeted professional development sessions all within the regular school day.
What makes the mentorship experience at Summit unique?
I have had a group of mentees over the past four years who I am responsible for helping achieve their college and career goals. Through the mentorship experience, I have gotten to know my students, their families and their college aspirations. Now that my mentees are on the cusp of graduating, I am starting to see their college and career plans come to fruition. It’s so great to see the students I met as freshmen applying to Stanford, Berkeley, Purdue, and the University of Chicago!