Embracing and Amplifying YES Prep’s Vision of Providing a College-Ready Education

By Elizabeth Walthall – AP Statistics/Jr. Seminar Teacher and 12th Grade Chair, YES Prep Northbrook High School

Elizabeth Walthall

I grew up in North Carolina, went to school at the University of North Carolina where I majored in business, minored in Spanish and obtained a Masters in Accounting, and moved to Atlanta where I lived and worked for a while until I ended up here in Houston working for YES Prep.

From Ernst & Young to Teaching

I started off working at Ernst & Young for two years in Atlanta, and it just wasn’t the right fit for me. I have always been interested in teaching so I thought now was a good a time as ever to try it so I ended up joining Teach For America and got placed in the same city for the next three years teaching math, which I was really passionate about.

I transitioned from traditional public school to charter school because I noticed a big need for college knowledge and college awareness, and I realized that’s what I wanted to get into. I started doing some research and YES Prep kept coming up. Everybody I talked to in education mentioned that YES Prep has the best college initiatives program. Ultimately, I traveled to a lot of different charter schools and non-profits around the country but I felt the most at home when I came to visit YES Prep. I ended up coming to YES Prep with the ultimate goal of working in the College Initiatives Department.

Everybody I talked to in education mentioned that YES Prep has the best college initiatives program.

The transition to YES Prep was definitely a big one but I love working here. I loved working with my team back in Atlanta but it is so different to be part of a team where everybody has the exact same goal of getting students to college. I also love that I have a full-time coach on my campus. Teaching at the public school, I felt I wasn’t growing as much in my third year. While coming to YES Prep was hard, because there is more accountability and higher expectations, I felt I was able to grow and I truly feel like I was working with like-minded people to make a difference.

Walthall teaching class

College Ready

When I came to YES Prep, I first taught 8th grade math. Then I transitioned over to seminar and I absolutely loved the seminar curriculum! The seminar courses are what makes YES Prep really unique. The fact that from 8th and 9th grade on we are teaching kids how to calculate a GPA, learn what’s required to get into college, understand the importance of the SATs and ACTs, and so forth, that’s something that a traditional school doesn’t always offer.

The seminar courses are what makes YES Prep really unique.

I’ve been teaching seminar for four years and I’ve come to realize the importance of providing a high rigor experience for our kids in their core classes. This brought me full circle, now teaching AP Statistics, because I felt there was a large need for high-quality AP classes for our students at YES Prep Northbrook High School.

If I’m being completely honest, our students come to YES Prep way behind. YES Prep does a really good job of catching students up, pushing them above and beyond, and preparing them for the realities they are going to face when they leave Houston and transition into a college setting.

Why Teach at YES

I think that anyone who is really passionate about providing a robust choice of opportunities for students for their future, YES Prep would be a great fit for them. What I love about YES Prep is while we educate students about the importance of attending college we also allow them to explore other options and ultimately make the best decision that’s best for them and their family.

Being a teacher is hard job, definitely. And yes, YES Prep does have high expectations, but that’s something I appreciate because I want to hold myself to the highest standards possible because I want to hold my students to those high standards too.

YES Prep does have high expectations, but that’s something I appreciate because I want to hold myself to the highest standards possible because I want to hold my students to those high standards too.

If you are someone who loves a challenge, who likes thinking outside of the box, and who loves having a different experience every day then you would love teaching at YES Prep.

Walthall teaching student


 

ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR

YES Prep is currently hiring teachers for the 2019-2020 School Year. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of working for YES, click here.


 

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