This summer, I had the opportunity to participate in #leadupchat with guest host Rosa Isiah. Rosa led a spirited discussion on school culture and how we can improve culture. While reading Rosa’s social media posts, I have come to realize that she is one of the most profound education leaders sharing a voice on social justice issues. We are happy to have Rosa share with us this week.
5 questions with… Rosa Isiah
- What do you most want your students to take with them from your classroom, school or district?
I want our students to take with them an excitement and hunger for learning. I want them to be learning risk-takers!
- What are the most rewarding and/or the most frustrating aspects of education?
The most rewarding aspect of education is facilitating learning for our students. We have the privilege of watching students develop as readers, mathematicians, and empathetic whole-beings. The most frustrating aspect of education is the lack of support and equity throughout our country for groups of learners, specifically historically disadvantaged youth.
- What advice would you give to young teachers?
My advice for new teachers is that they must get to know their students and build relationships with them and their families. Teaching and learning is all about relationships.
- What has influenced your career the most?
My experiences as an English learner have influenced my career trajectory. I can relate to my students and community, especially the challenges faced by ELLs in education. Caring educators changed my life and I want to pay it forward.
- As an educator, what are you currently focused on?
I’m focused on creating and protecting a healthy school climate and culture at my school site. School culture is the foundation needed for high levels of academic achievement for all students. We can’t grow from good to great without a healthy school culture.
Rosa Isiah currently serves students as principal of Lucille Smith Elementary School Principal in California. Her experiences include 21 years in education as teacher, bilingual resource specialist, Language Arts Specialist, Teacher on Special Assignment, Assistant Principal, Coordinator of Federal and State Programs, and Principal.
Rosa holds a BA in Sociology, an MA in Educational Leadership, and recently graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership for Social Justice. Rosa is passionate about equity, closing the achievement-opportunity gap, and learning with her school community. She believes in the power of relationships and leading with a growth mindset.