Nicole joins the Generation Citizen Teacher Leadership Board with almost ten years of teaching experience in many different grade levels of Social Studies. From elementary through high school, she has taught every level of History and now finds herself enthralled in middle school Civics. She has been in her current position at the Robinson Middle School in Lowell for four years, actively engaging her students in real-world Action Civics while constantly striving to improve upon the year before. Having only two years of experience with Generation Citizen specifically, Nicole is excited to continue to grow as an instructor of Civics education and learn from the experiences of her students’ lives. Nicole has been impressed with the awareness and degree of concern that her students show when working on their Action Civics projects. Her students are always interested in tackling issues of violence and crime in their city, as well as drug use, mental illness, and homelessness. What Nicole enjoys most about working with younger students in an inner city setting is the passion that they exude once they get into the project. They come to understand that they CAN make a difference; they just need to speak up!
Nicole won the “Teacher Change Maker” award her first year working with Generation Citizen due to her energy and dedication to engaging her students. She works with six sections of classes which meet every other day and faces challenges that come with time and scheduling constraints. Nicole emphasizes with her students that success doesn’t always mean completing something 100% but rather acknowledging what you have learned and accomplished along the way. She strives to celebrate all successes with her students, no matter how big or small. One of her class’ greatest successes so far was earning the “Systemic Impact Award” for their work on mental health and depression in 2019.
During remote learning, Nicole experienced some setbacks while facilitating Action Civics. As most teachers will confirm, teaching via Zoom is not ideal, and many students were disengaged. However, once the project began to take off, Nicole noticed that many students who had not been engaged at all prior, found the inspiration they needed to engage in virtual learning. Nicole was also asked to help coordinate the curriculum for the teachers who were taking over the in-person classes, and became their de-facto GC leader. This was a great leadership experience for Nicole and led to her interest in the Teacher Leadership Board.
Outside of teaching History, Nicole loves to live the topics she teaches. One of her biggest passions is traveling. Specifically, Nicole enjoys re-visiting Germany where she lived for six months in college and later was fortunate enough to lead a week-long student trip across the country with her high school students. In the future, Nicole is hoping to lead an annual trip to Washington D.C with her 8th graders. In addition to this Nicole loves music, concerts, seeking new places to visit, camping, spending time with her friends and family, and inspiring her students to actively engage in their own passions, whatever they may be!