McPherson mentors at inner-city school with Teach for America
MADISON – Molly McPherson is confirming that inner-city youth have a sound education, a tenet for her sponsoring organization, Teach for America.
She is teaching world history to 120 seventh-graders at Ranson Middle School in Charlotte, N.C.
McPherson learned about Teach for America during college recruiting events. “I wanted to address the inequities of our educational system firsthand,” she said. “I knew that God had called me to help people” and education seemed an excellent venue.Teach for America has a rigorous application and interview process, looking for documented leadership, academics and perseverance. In their content areas, corps members must pass PRAXIS exams and attend a summer-long training institute for lesson planning, relationship building and behavior management.
“Teach for America believes every child deserves access to an excellent public education,” McPherson said. Recruits teach in high-need classrooms, committed to helping students to grow academically and in life skills.
“Teaching is the most demanding yet rewarding job,” McPherson said. “Teachers are why I’m where I am today.”
In Charlotte, McPherson engages students to relate history to relevant issues. To study the French Revolution, her students compared writing the Rights of Man to a proposal for abolishing school uniforms. They explored questions ranging from bullying to natural resources. An end-of-year talent show raised students’ self-confidence.
A 2006 graduate of Bob Jones High School, McPherson attended the University of Alabama and received degrees in public relations and political science. She earned a master’s degree in public affairs at Indiana University in 2012.
Among many college honors, FirstConnection at UA was most fulfilling. The organization mentors third-graders at Martin Luther King Junior Elementary School in reading and math. McPherson mentored Destiny, watching her grades improve and her confidence grow.
In spring 2014, McPherson will take a new path, “working to serve God and help others … whether analyzing educational policy or running a nonprofit. Madison would be a great place to work someday. It’s near and dear to my heart.”
For more information, visit teachforamerica.org.