“A Community with Shared Goals for the Future is a Strong One” – BTR Cohort 20 Graduate Speech


Read an excerpt from BTR Cohort 20 graduate Robin Chen’s graduation speech:

“Throughout this year, you have all proven yourself to be capable and empathetic educators – not just for students, but for each other. Here are some of the biggest lessons this cohort has taught me: 


  1. Authentic care and love results in holding each other accountable. Over and over again, I have seen you all hold each other to high standards and “do the work,” even when it’s not comfortable. Whether it be in class or in conversation, you have all taught me that it’s okay to be wrong or to sometimes say the wrong things as long as we remain fluid, flexible, and ever-changing in our practice and in our perception. There is still so much to learn about life and about pedagogy, and I hope that we stay learners our whole lives.
  2. Celebrate everything! You have all really taught me so much about happiness through our little celebrations. For every nervous breakdown or tear shed, there was also so much to celebrate. Each mentor and cohort member has encouraged me to find the little wins – from remembering cherished student interactions to executing a strong lesson, I will always remember how we found those moments to applaud each other and hype each other up. Our instructors are right – we are a joyful cohort!
  3. A community with shared goals for the future is a strong one. Even though many parts of this year have felt isolating, I have come to realize that none of us are ever alone. Whether it be looking over one another’s lesson plans or listening to a latest life crisis, I have always found someone to turn to and lean on. I know that next year will look different. Some of us are lucky enough to stay together, but many of us will be embarking on new journeys solo. Regardless, I hope that we continue being a community. I am always here if anyone wants to rehearse a script or simply to vent – I want to hear all your teaching adventures from now until we retire from BPS in 30 years!

This cohort is not just one of my guiding stars, but an entire constellation of support, love, and care. We came in scared and potentially unsure; we are leaving with our Masters’ and as teachers of record. Throughout it all, we were together. I hope to say the same in the years to come. I love you all so much. Thank you for making me smarter, Cohort 20.”

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