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Teacher Profile: Ms. Dokubo

December 13, 2011

Ms. Dokubo, Teach for America corps member and teacher at Reed Elementary (Photo by Laura Slotkoff)

By Kaitlin Tyrill, Corps Member Proudly Serving at Reed Elementary School

At Sarah T. Reed Elementary, the City Year corps members are not the only corps members serving our students. Many of the teachers at Reed Elementary are first-year Teach for America corps members.  While teaching and tutoring styles vary, it is clear that each and every corps member is here to help these students succeed. One first-year TFA teacher in particular, Ms. Dokubo, has caught the attention of our City Year team for her dedication to her students and her relentless flexibility and understanding attitude.

Ms. Dokubo realized that educational disparity was a serious issue when she was tutoring fellow athletes as a freshman at Southern Illinois University. She remembers many of her fellow athletes not being able to write a five paragraph essay. 

She recognized that these students were relying on an athletic scholarship to make it to a college for which their poor public schools had not prepared them.  She went on to major in Broadcasting, figuring she would become a teacher “somewhere down the road.” But as a senior Ms. Dokubo thought to apply for Teach for America and after being accepted she packed her bags and moved 1,000 miles to New Orleans.

Ms. Dokubo is now teaching Literacy, 5th and 6th grade Math, and assisting with Special Education. As a City Year corps member assisting in her 5th grade Math class I am amazed at how she is constantly in control. At any point during this 90 minute class students can, and will, find a distraction. At these moments Ms. Dokubo tells students: “You know the expectation, now get it together.” Students never argue with this. They quickly realize that they are responsible for their own actions and that they do, in fact, know what is expected of them. Her students are always challenging but, she never forgets that education can also be fun.  She sings and dances about division and multiplication, teaches them her old college cheers, and shares laughs with them.

Students, like the rest of us, have good days and bad days.  Ms. D recognizes this and is able to reach students even on the worst of days because of the relationships she has built with each of them.  She does not hesitate to let a student know they are out of line, but she always stays level-headed and forward-moving. But when nothing is working and a student is just having a bad day, Ms. Dokubo just reminds herself: “Tomorrow is a new day.”  



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