Teachers & Leaders
Debricca Webster is a Founding Teacher Fellow at IDEA Frontier College Preparatory. IDEA’s Founding Teacher Fellowship is a program that hires dedicated and talented individuals to participate in a one-year fellowship as a teacher or co-teacher in some of IDEA’s award-winning Rio Grande Valley campuses. Then, the following year, these Fellows return to their home region to launch an IDEA school.
We sat down with Debricca to see how her year is going so far, and to discuss her excitement to help launch a new IDEA region. Read her answers below!
How long have you been with IDEA? Why did you apply?
This is my first year with IDEA. I was already a teacher in a public school district in Louisiana and I was researching IDEA, and I saw that their mission is “College for All,” and that really sparked my attention. I was intrigued by a school district whose main goal is for every student to graduate from college. Education is promoted even after high school at IDEA.
What subject do you teach? What is your experience in education?
I am at IDEA Frontier College Preparatory, and I am serving as an interventionist. This is my 11th year of teaching. I spent 10 years in the public school district.
IDEA seems to have a lot more structure, and they are really committed to student success. If a student doesn’t do well the first time, our philosophy isn’t just: “that’s it, you failed.” No, we are going to stay after school with you, encourage you to come in on Saturday, come in at lunch, come in during homeroom period--whatever time we need to spend to invest in your success. There is no giving up. We are going to teach it until you get it.
What is challenging about working at IDEA in part with the Founding Teacher Fellowship Program?
The most challenging part that I’ve noticed this year was just that I’m away from home, and I’m adjusting to teaching life within a different community. I’m at IDEA Frontier and they are well established within the IDEA organization so the Team & Family aspect has already been established on campus.
I’m this new person. I’m new in town and I don’t know anyone and in addition to that I’m teaching a new group of students that I’ve never encountered. But, everybody here has been so welcoming. It didn’t take very long for me to feel like I’ve always been part of this Team & Family.
How do you plan to implement everything you have learned to make an impact on the community?
When I go home to Baton Rouge, I want to bring that same culture of learning to Louisiana, where maybe parents are not that satisfied with the school systems that are already in place. I want students to know that we may not get it the first time, but someone cares about your success and we will stay late or come in early, or give up time on the weekend to achieve student success.