SEL Awardee

Victoria Romano

Overbrook School for the Blind
Overbrook School for the Blind
Philadelphia, PA
“My teaching has become more intentional. I feel like before the RPIA opportunity, I would look for progress for progress sake. Now I feel that I am invested in the intrinsic motivation of my students. Previously, I was the kind of teacher that would try so hard to motivate students by leading them towards the end goal I wanted them to achieve. Now I am working towards a more student-centered approach where my students are in charge of their learning. - Ms. B, RPIA Teacher at Overbrook Ms. B's words show a teacher who is changing her mindsets, empowering her students, and challenging the status quo that students with disabilities and low-income students of color are meant to be kept under control.This kind of classroom transformation is the future of student leadership that Overbrook School for the Blind and Restorative Practices in Action (RPIA) are building together in West Philadelphia. In order to restore all that is possible with student voice, ownership, and empowerment in the classroom, Overbrook and RPIA piloted a partnership to provide teacher development that has been so impactful that we plan to train 50% of Overbrook's teachers in this model. The impact of growing our partnership to this scale will be a transformation of Overbrook's school culture as we reverse the traditional power dynamic in the classroom and build learning partnerships between students and teachers. This impact will impact student academic growth and leadership skills, positioning them as leaders with diverse abilities in our city.”
Tags: Elementary School, Students with Disabilities, Teacher, Traditional Public School, Urban