Itonya Dismond is a graduate of the Boston Public School system, and she returned as an educator in 1994 to pursue her passion for teaching and learning at the elementary level. She mentioned that she is where she is today because of the generations of inspirational educators who believed in her and who offered her tough love. A graduate of Lesley University, she is here at the Ellis School to inspire children to believe in themselves and to encourage them to pursue their passion, no matter the daily challenges they have to face.
She was given the opportunity to start her career in the Boston Public School system at her own elementary school, the John Marshall School, which to her, was a dream come true. She taught at the John Marshall in Dorchester for sixteen years. This school was the initial family that she grew to love – the students, their families, and the staff. It was also where she gained her experience listening, learning, teaching, and preparing future educators. Among the educators she remembers fondly are members of the Chery family of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in Dorchester. They shared with her a book that she reads each year to her students: Something Beautiful, by Sharon Dennis Wyeth: “It teaches us to look within ourselves to seek the beauty, love, respect, and God that we yearn for, when the outside of us appears ugly, harsh, and the world is filled with hate, anger, racism, and daily crime. The demands that are placed upon children today are overwhelming. Something Beautiful allows the reader to discover themselves and the strength within to live, to love, to make a difference in their life.”
Ms. Dismond went on to work at the Maurice J. Tobin School K-8, for two years, the John Winthrop for one, returning to the David A. Ellis for the second year, making this her fifth year in a community filled with diverse learners. Ms. Dismond understands the importance of education and how daily her role changes the minds, lives, and souls of the students she learns with. She begins each year establishing trust with her students and families, making a daily commitment to them, by spending time listening to their concerns and ideas about school, home, and themselves. They challenge her with questions, as she challenges them every day. She stays connected with the families weekly, offering them support and suggestions, as well as welcoming their feedback. “Family feedback is important because it is a part of direct instruction. They hold me accountable, as I do them. We are partners in learning and teaching!” She loves the idea of having TutorMate and tutors from JP Morgan-Chase as an extension to her first-grade family this year. “To see how the students engage with their tutors and take pride in learning online brings a smile to my face. Each time we hear the ringing of the TutorMate call, each student hopes it’s for him or her! They are engaged in the conversations, lessons, and support that they receive. The TutorMate program inspires me to become an online tutor!” Ms. Dismond believes that TutorMate has elevated her students’ self esteem and interest in reading. According to Ms. Dismond, “Learning is the result of endless curiosity and great teachers who prepare challenging lessons, motivate the critical learner within, and engage all students to think about problems that arise and share responsibility to discover solutions. Teaching students to love themselves is the key to learning. It awakens the greatness within!” Ms. Dismond loves being a part of the awakening and enjoys partnering with others who teach the truth.
JPMorgan Chase is the tutor partner for Ms. Dismond’s class. According to the company’s mission statement, their mission is to strengthen communities in which JPMorgan Chase & Co. does business by expanding access to capital, leadership, and leveraging the many resources of JP Morgan Chase.
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