Mentorship. Insight. Educational enlightenment. These are the concepts Benavidez envisions for public schools. She says there is a surplus of theory in the contemporary K-12 realm. But, there are few, real “hands-on” opportunities for new teachers and administrators to learn from successful educators.
“I’d love to be able to teach future teachers what really happens in a classroom,” she says. “When they put you in there, it’s all yours. If there’s no mentoring system in place, then that can really hurt you in the long run.”
With a half-new staff, including eight first-year teachers, Benavidez has the opportunity to put her ideas into practice. And, this is the first year Woodlawn will operate as an academy teaching Pre-K through 8th-grade students.
“This is the perfect time to strategize and make the changes that need to be made,” Benavidez says. “I’m fortunate because I have a young staff and they’re willing to try new things. We don’t want them to fail so we’re doing everything it takes to make them successful.”