Partner Voices: Frayser Community Schools
Leaders from Frayser Community Schools, a neighborhood charter network in Memphis, TN, share what it’s been like engaging with Instruction Partners to support excellent science instruction.
Watch and read their story below.
“Before we were with Instruction Partners, I knew that we had a desire to deliver three-dimensional science lessons, but we didn’t know how,” recalls Keiyoma Dabney, multi-classroom lead at Frayser Community Schools. Executive Director Brett Lawson adds, “I remember going into our classrooms and at the beginning stages of implementing this new way of teaching science, our teachers made valiant attempts, but those attempts were not always on target. Having Instruction Partners’ nice way of saying it helped us as administrators be able to change instruction without tearing teachers down.”
Instruction Partners worked to build leaders’ capacity to support teachers in implementing instructional models that strengthen students’ conceptual understanding of science. After three years of partnership, Frayser students now have access to three-dimensional, phenomena-driven science instruction.
Tonya Hervey, director of principal leadership, reports a positive shift in teacher practice: “They’ve realized that science is all about children figuring out the science in the everyday world around them, identifying everyday phenomena, and really piquing children’s curiosity about why things happen around them, and helping them to understand that there’s science everywhere in life. That epiphany has changed the way they address science instruction.”
“A lot has changed in just thinking about teachers’ and students’ idea of being a scientist,” adds Dabney. “It’s not just doing labs. It’s about questioning the world around you and trying to make sense of it. That’s what really changed when our teachers’ mindset shifted—the students’ mindset shifted.”