About Us

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Be the Change Collaborative is a non-profit organization committed to working with educators to transform classroom experiences for our students. In 2009, a group of six educators who were graduates of the University of Chicago Urban Teacher Education Program and teaching in classrooms across the south side of Chicago came together to develop a plan for a charter school. The focus of Be the Change Charter School’s mission centered around a project-based and interdisciplinary curriculum that would prepare students to be active citizens of their community and world. Over the course of five years, the organization has become more focused in its vision, gathered the support of many educators and community members, and raised funds for its efforts in submitting a charter proposal to Chicago Public Schools. While the platform for our work may no longer be a school, BCC has re-imagined itself as an organization dedicated to fostering a community of teachers who create and implement interdisciplinary curricular units in classrooms across Chicago. Learn more about the Interdisciplinary Learning Fellowship Program! BCC will also maintain a database of interdisciplinary units created by our fellows and organize a citywide celebration of interdisciplinary learning every spring for students, families, and teachers. We envision a true collaborative in which teachers across Chicago and from diverse backgrounds work together and become agents of change within their classrooms and schools. Be the Change Collaborative is led by co-founders and coaches, Jeannie Kim and Sonia Wang (see bios below), and has a governing board comprised of six members from various civic, educational, and community sectors. We are passionate about the impact that interdisciplinary teaching and learning can have on not only what students learn but how and why they learn, use their voice, and take action in today’s world.

 

The Coaches

sonia
Sonia Wang graduated from the University of Chicago’s Urban Teacher Education Program (UChicago UTEP) with endorsements in middle school social sciences, language arts, and math. As a middle school teacher at Clara Barton Elementary School, Sonia crafted and taught an integrated Social Justice and Writing curriculum before moving on to an 8th grade English position at University of Chicago Charter School- Woodlawn. After five years in the classroom, with training and expertise in Balanced Literacy and experience as a Clinical Instructor, Sonia then served as Woodlawn’s Instructional Coach. She balanced coaching in both instructional and content specific practices as well as teaching Social Justice and Leadership class. She continues to implement her passion for teacher development and to holistic student growth as the Assistant Director at Woodlawn Middle. In every role she takes on, Sonia brings with her a steadfast commitment to helping others find their voice. She believes that our voice is the strongest mechanism by which we can advocate for ourselves and others, as well as create a footprint in the history of change.
jeannie
Jeannie Kim also graduated from UChicago UTEP and worked as a 5th and 6th grade teacher at Sawyer Elementary School for four years before moving into a 7th grade history teacher position at University of Chicago Charter School – Carter G. Woodson. As a teacher, Jeannie developed curricular units in all content areas centered on student inquiry and collaboration. Jeannie has also taught social studies units that are culturally relevant and civic-focused, with students taking action through political and cultural means on community issues affecting their lives. After her years in the classroom, Jeannie used her knowledge of curriculum planning and experience as a Clinical Instructor to support principals in the use of the Danielson Framework for Teaching for a year in the district office. Jeannie then worked as an Instructional Coach for two years at Gunsaulus Scholastic Academy supporting teachers from pre-K through 8th grade and facilitating professional development, and is now returning to the classroom as a 5th grade teacher.

BCC Governing Board

Eliza Bryant, Big Shoulders Fund, Director, Academic Programs and Enrichment

Bill Kennedy, University of Chicago Urban Teacher Education Program, Assistant Director Elementary Pathway

Ed Marszewski, Public Media Institute, Director

Kavita Kapadia Matsko, University of Chicago Urban Teacher Education Program, Senior Advisor

Toyce R. Mizelle, Deloitte, Senior Manager

 

BCCS Governing Board, 2011

BCCS Governing Board, 2011