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Member Spotlight: Cherrise Whye

Cherrise Whye teaches 6th grade math and social studies at Violetville Elementary/Middle School. She has been teaching in BCPSS for 21 years.

You have a great relationship with your students and families. How have you nurtured that relationship?

My relationship with my students and families has been an ongoing partnership. When they are in my class, I build a relationship with them and it continues well after they have left my class. I still have that bond with several of my students and families which has lasted over the past 18 years. I am a part of their success story and will always be a cheerleader and supporter for my students.

You told us that raising the level of achievement with your students is your top priority. What are some things you have done to support student achievement?

In supporting my students’ achievement, I have offered them many opportunities. I believe that their success is my success. Being a teacher who is committed by providing after-school coach classes, lunch bunch, and individual learning time for my students helps to build that bond and earn the trust and respect of all students. When you have a relationship with them, you can usually get a positive outcome and learning is achieved and respected.

How have you been adjusting to all the changes and uncertainty with virtual learning and the district’s plan to eventually move to a hybrid model?

As far as adjusting to all of the changes, I have focused on what I can do to be a more effective teacher. Being virtual may not always be the easiest but I make sure I am learning and training on different platforms to give me the upper hand on my teaching in a not-so-normal situation for our students. I want the safety for all and to make sure our health is not at risk.

Describe your involvement in BTU. Why is being a union member important to you?

I became a building representative last year and realized that BTU was more than just a group of people talking about issues. I realized it was an organization that was serious and values each member’s concerns and opinions. BTU knows we are the force in our education system and we should be treated fairly and respected. The union listens and will stand up and fight for what we truly believe in to make our job valued. 

What do you think the union should focus on this school year?

The union should focus on our hard work, dedication and safety. If we are not healthy or we are at risk, then we cannot do our jobs effectively. Our students are our future and our main goal is to TEACH in environments where we should not feel our health and well-being is at risk.  

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Teachers and staff, we are all in this together. Let’s come together and be of one accord. With everything going on in our communities, we have to take a stand for our students and most importantly OURSELVES! Be safe and remember that our well-being matters!