“Incredibly Challenging, Incredibly Rewarding”: Profile of a Teacher at Success Academy

Six weeks into the start of the current school year, Corey Inslee, a second-grade teacher and NYU alumnus, received heart-stopping news: a student in his class had been hit by a car and was in the hospital with serious injuries. Corey had taught the student the year before and knew him and his family well. For a week, he visited him every day after school. “It was devastating to see him suffering,” Inslee says. “But it did give me a chance to witness something amazing.”

That amazing thing was the rest of his class expressing overwhelming empathy for their classmate. “They asked what they could do for him,” Inslee says. “They wanted to visit him. They picked out books from the class library that they thought he would like. They made him cards.” When the student finally returned to school six weeks after his accident, a giant scar stretching from the top of his head to his jaw, his fellow students organized a surprise welcome-back party for him. “They truly celebrated him,” says Corey. “No one asked him about his scar. They made him feel so good — you could see it. That was a high point in my teaching career. Academics are important, and my students perform at incredible levels, but when you see kids genuinely and openly caring about each other — that’s when you know you’re doing something right.”

Corey didn’t always know he wanted to teach, though adolescent experiences as a baseball camp counselor on his native Long Island, New York, led him to want to work with children. He enrolled at New York University with a major in sports management and quickly realized he was more interested in the development of young athletes than in the business classes he was taking. During his sophomore year, he switched to an education major. A couple years later, an NYU alum who worked at Success Academy came to talk to soon-to-be graduates about the organization. “I was intrigued,” Inslee says. “I appreciated their mission.”

To land the job, Corey had to show just how passionate he was about that mission — how much he cared about helping to develop the social, emotional, and intellectual characters of mostly underprivileged kids. He also had to demonstrate his commitment to growing as a teacher; at Success Academies, teachers consider themselves professionals who continually seek to improve their practice and who hold the bar as high for themselves as they do for their students. They don’t choose a teaching career because they get their summers off — they choose it because they want to provide opportunities for children to become the best human beings they can be. “That’s the real work,” Corey says. “And to do that you have to try to be the best human being you can be. It’s incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding.”

Recognized nationally for its innovative education reform efforts, Success Academy is a network of 22 New York City charter schools (and counting!) that serve Kindergarten through 8th grade, with a new high school opening in the fall. It employs a large number of New York University alumni. “I would encourage anyone who is passionate about educating kids to apply to Success,” says Corey Inslee, a second-grade teacher and NYU alumnus. “With the amount of professional development we receive and the rare chance for even a novice to start as an Associate Teacher, you have a huge opportunity to grow here.” For more information about employment opportunities, visit www.SuccessCareers.org (and check out these documentaries: Waiting for Superman and The Lottery).

Apply now on NYU CareerNet, Job IDs: 911554, 918666, 910184, 911820, 910215, 911554, 917348, 919316, 918579, 914996, 919632, 916063, 919717, 916062, 915777, 916362, 911081, 914994, 915542

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