From Teacher to Teacher-Leader


Adrienne Williams
First Grade Teacher
Center City Public Charter School, Washington, DC

Adrienne Williams is doing it all: teaching 28 first graders with diverse needs, serving as a school-family liaison, developing curriculum for the district, writing blogs, advocating for quality standards, and modeling effective instruction for her peers. And she’s excelling in every role because, well, that’s just how she operates.

A recent graduate of Urban Teachers, Adrienne was well positioned to become a teacher-leader. She’s proud of how the curricula she writes helps young students engage with high-level content and the ways in which she’s been able to use her leadership roles to share effective strategies beyond her own classroom.

Adrienne’s grateful to Urban Teachers for showing her what great teaching looks like and, perhaps as important, for teaching her to work smarter, rather than harder. One lesson she’s learned: “Don’t reinvent the wheel. If you’re struggling, go ask your colleagues, ask your specialist, go online for resources.”

These days, Adrienne is strategic about her workload, devoting her creative energy to areas where it can make the greatest difference. As she looks ahead, she’s thinking about her options in and beyond the classroom, aiming to use her skills to provide other teachers with support they need to become effective.