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This is the third interview with Lauren Davenport for the Education Narratives Project. It was conducted on November 18, 2020 via Zoom conference from her home in Brooklyn, NY, where she lives with her family, which includes two school-aged children. Lauren is an English Teacher for 9th-12th graders at Assembly Gateway School for Technology, which is a public school in New York City. Both of Lauren's children attend NYC public schools. The interview took place just hours after Mayor De Blasio ordered all NYC public schools to close and move to full remote classes due to virus infections rates exceeding the threshold for keeping schools open. Lauren was not surprised by the closure; rather, she expressed some relief. She also expressed her weariness of the state of flux between in-person class work and remote class work. Lauren spoke about discussion with her students about the larger social crises facing this country and the communities where her students live. She talked about ways she's modified her curriculum to meet the needs of the crisis, mostly in what books she assigns as student reading. She tries to introduce her students to Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) authors, but has been challenged in doing so during the pandemic due to the lack of affordable licensing options for such books. Lauren also spoke about her physical classroom, which she has occupied for nearly 20 years. Students' parents describe her classroom as warm and engaging. It is filled with books, posters, and items she's collected in the course of her tenure. She compared her classroom to her current at-home working space, which she shares with her family. Even given the huge challenges presented this year, Lauren sees opportunities to change and enhance learning for students of all kinds.
This interview may be of interest to people wanting to learn more about the challenges of being a teacher with school-aged children of their own, public schools with mostly BIPOC student population, and schools with a tech-focused curriculum.
Nicolette Lodico is an archivist and knowledge manager who specializes in helping people and organizations—particularly those whose work supports the public good—establish sustainable practices for managing both what they create and what they know so they can make informed decisions, be transparent, and minimize risk. She helps organizations tell the story about their work, to reflect on and learn from past work and share that knowledge with those who will benefit, and to provide opportunities for future researchers and historians to examine and evaluate this work. Currently, she is the director of global information and knowledge management at the Ford Foundation where she is overseeing a comprehensive, multiyear oral history project to gather the reflections of key former staff. She also is the former president and emeritus board member of the Technology Association of Grantmakers, a non-profit organization that cultivates the strategic and equitable use of technology to advance philanthropy. She earned her M.L.S. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
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This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.