I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Allison Gulamhussein, and I’ll be contributing to the blog throughout this spring as I complete an internship with the Center for Public Education. I’m excited to get the opportunity to dialogue with you about pressing issues facing America’s schools.
Let me share a little of my own background. I grew up in rural Georgia, and my interest in education began there. My father worked in a paper mill, and my mother was a stay at home mom. Although my family struggled to make ends meet, they moved us to Bremen, Georgia because they knew the public schools there were excellent. From kindergarten to twelfth grade, I had some of the best teachers in America. They inspired me, encouraged me, and challenged me to think for myself. Their selfless investment in my future resulted in me becoming my family’s first college graduate.
From there, I attended Emory University in Atlanta, and in my senior year heard about a program called Teach for America. I was immediately drawn to the call for educational equity, realizing how lucky I was to go to the public school I did and how many with my background simply didn’t have access a quality education. I was placed in the Mississippi Delta, and I taught high school history there for two years. While I had initially only intended to teach for two years, I fell in love with the profession, and I went on to teach for two years with a charter school in Houston and three years at a private school in Houston. Those seven years have taught me much, but there is still much to learn.
My years in the classroom have opened my eyes to the complex nature of teaching and learning, and I’m interested in the ways in which policy can honor the complex intellectual work of a teacher while continuing to push for excellence nationwide. This year I’m pursuing my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction at George Washington University as well as working with the Center for Public Education. I look forward to sharing my own perspective on policy as a teacher as well as hearing your ideas about how we can improve our schools. –Allison Gulamhussein