Tell us about your experience with childhood education. 

My name is Ayanna. The first experience with childhood education is my own personal experience, and then becoming an educator. I feel like it’s very important to establish a strong foundation when it comes to education.
The negative side is that there’s no cultural sensitivity, no cultural competencies around schools nowadays and I think that’s a barrier to learning for our Black and brown students.
The positive is that there’s still opportunity for growth and room for improvement. And with the new strategic plan, I think they see there’s room to grow and embrace cultural awareness.
I think that the struggles that I see with my own son, who is 8 years old, is that he doesn’t have a safe space to be. He is often to himself. So constant daily affirmations, and reminding him just how great he is. And giving him the space and opportunity to be the best he can be. And trying really hard to partner with the teachers to remind them how important it is to be competent. 

How do you want to help cultivate the genius of black children?

That is a really good topic, a good question. I want to first identify how strong we are as a people. That we remind our students, and our kiddos, that anything is possible. And just feed into them knowledge about who they are, and just know that it’s an uphill battle but we will get there. And just everyday, take that as an opportunity to grow, develop, and lead by example. .

What is your personal learning style?

I think that we are kinesthetic learners. And I think that it’s important to not only talk about how great we are, not only say we are phenomenal, but actually have opportunities for my children to visually see that, embrace that, be a part of that, have community.

I think it took me a very long time to learn my learning style. I think I had been taught to learn in one way but that didn’t really work for me. It wasn’t until I got to college when I learned to undo those things that I had previously learned. So that was my experience. I believe my son, he understands the importance of being a hands-on learner so he’s a learning that a little earlier on than I did.

I would say no. I learned my learning style just in life, day-to-day life. Trial and error, and learning what works for me. And learning that my number one learner and that I have to evaluate what works and what doesn’t.