Tuscarora Elementary School Frederick
Chanese Goodman’s brother motivated her desire to become a teacher. He had a difficult time in school and was never able to find a teacher with whom he could connect. His life ultimately took him down a bad path.
“He is better now, but I was thinking that if he would have just had that one teacher whom he could connect to, it would have been so impactful,” she says. “If he would have had one or two teachers who looked like him to connect to (situations might have been different). I want to be that teacher whom students that look like me can connect to.”
In 2007, Goodman began her teaching career in Baltimore City and has been with Frederick County Public Schools for five years. For the past four years, she has taught kindergarten at Tuscarora Elementary School in Frederick.
Before coming to kindergarten, many children traditionally attend preschool or day programs. Due to COVID, many did not get this opportunity. Kindergarten is now their first time in a school setting. As a result, Goodman has seen more social-emotional issues than in years past, and some kids are further behind developmentally.
“To play catchup is a little bit of a challenge, but I enjoy it so much I don’t really mind the challenge,” she says. “It is a reward in itself to see that despite all that is happening, we can still make a difference in someone’s life. It may not be academic. They can just grow socially (and) emotionally—learning how to manage their emotions, how to deal with other people and express themselves with words.”
As Tuscarora Elementary’s cultural proficiency representative, she aims to make kids feel valued for who they are by ensuring they see themselves in literature, videos and educational materials.
“I enjoy learning about how to make things equitable for all children,” she says. “I feel like that is why I am here—to ensure children are seen and their voices are heard. I find it very beneficial to form all those relationships,” she says. “It helps foster the child and helps them grow. I have children whom I taught three years ago coming back to visit me. You always have that connection.”