Sydney Chaffee, NBCT

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Sydney Chaffee is the 9th grade Humanities teacher at Codman Academy Charter Public School in Dorchester, MA, the 2017 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, and 2017 National Teacher of the Year. She is a National Board Certified Teacher with a passion for helping diverse learners grow through authentic, relevant, interdisciplinary curricula. For the past several years, she has worked as a mentor teacher for pre-service teachers from Tufts University and Boston University. She believes in the limitless power of teacher collaboration and leadership to make meaningful change for all students. Sydney earned her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and her M.Ed. from Lesley University. 
Teachers Must Be Ready to Engage
Sydney Chaffee, NBCTApril 19, 2017

It was late winter in my ninth grade Humanities class. We were learning about the history of South Africa—how the white-ruled government oppressed people of color and called it “apartheid,” and how those oppressed people resisted. My student Mark was having a hard day. He had repeatedly disrupted class with disrespectful comments towards his peers. I wrote him a pass to see the dean, and he was angry. On his way out the door, he looked back at me and yelled, “How can they have a white person teach us about apartheid? That’s so racist.” Being a white teacher in…

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