“Bring your A-game,” Trish Davlantes tells her students.
Her 7th grade math students certainly brought it. Last year, 100 percent of them hit their growth targets.
“I keep expectations high with students, but was still blown away by the results,” she said.
Davlantes began her professional career as an accountant, but fell in love with teaching while serving as a long-term substitute for Chicago Public Schools. She has taught for the last 15 years, seven of which have been at Hawthorne Elementary Scholastic Academy in Chicago, IL.
As a 6th-8th grade math teacher at Hawthorne, Davlantes is committed to preparing her students for the rigors of high school.
“Eighth grade is a culminating event,” she says. “Going into high school, it’s important for them to know what their strengths and weakness are so they can set learning goals and develop strategies to meet those goals.”
Davlantes uses analogies to put the daily work of learning and growth into perspective.
“It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon,” she says.
This marathon approach means she adapts the learning environment to students’ needs one day at a time as they progress towards their goals.
“Is your classroom like a restaurant, where students can select from a variety of interesting dishes, or like a circus, with a lot of different activities going on at the same time, with a ringmaster managing it all?” she said. “No matter what is going on, if you’re focused on the work, you are engaged.”
Davlante’s desire for her students to reach their potential comes through in the time she takes to think about each student individually. She regularly asks herself if and how she is pushing each child to their next personal edge of growth.
That’s because, “Classes don’t learn, student’s do.”
As a graduate of Lane Technical College Prep High School, Davlante is a proud alumna of Chicago Public Schools herself, and her own children currently attend Chicago Public Schools.