Darisa Pilon, TTC '22, absolutely loves being with children. She is Shady Hill School's Urban Teaching Fellow. She came to the Shady Hill Teacher Training Center to hone her craft as a school teacher under the guidance of expert mentors in pre-k through second-grade classrooms where learning through play is paramount.
After a rewarding experience in Shady Hill's Beginners classroom with Laura Ryan and Maggie Beasely last fall, Darisa transitioned to Gardner Pilot Academy where she is being mentored by Suzanne Bogue Mason in a 2nd grade classroom where the majority of her students speak Spanish at home. In this photo, Darisa is leading a reading lesson using a multicultural text called Drum Girl Dreaming by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael López. This story is inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers. Darisa's students learned about various instruments, what it means to be a trailblazer and changemaker, and the importance of following their dreams. In the images and the narration of the text, they saw themselves. Shady Hill's TTC has had a long and enduring commitment to social justice and culturally responsive pedagogy. Katharine Taylor's mission for this teacher residency program founded in 1928 has a public purpose. The Urban Teaching Fellowship, partnership with Gardner, and Lesley University reflects this commitment to a more socially just world.