Mike Taglienti, ’16, a 4th grade teacher at Fort Logan Northgate 3-8 School in Denver, Colorado, shares his experiences teaching in the diverse and underprivileged district of Sheridan, the town with the lowest annual income in Colorado. “With poverty so prevalent and entrenching in the area, many students and families struggle to satisfy the most basic needs on a daily basis… Three-quarters of my students speak English as a second language – some do not speak English at all, The average reading level peaks somewhere two grade levels below expectancy, with many students still decoding at a Kindergarten level.”
Taglienti, a second year teacher, is a 2015 Noyce Teacher Scholar. The National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program recruits and prepares STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) majors and professionals for teaching careers in K-12 education. Scholars who enter the teaching field in high-need school districts throughout the U.S. receive support through their induction years.
He added that despite challenges, his students come to school everyday excited to learn and grow.