Returning from their summer break, the XIIIs were greeted by an unfamiliar, yet captivatingly enthusiastic new member of our community. The new XIIIs group co-teacher, Trayshia Rogers, has been teaching for eight years. She began her career teaching in Baltimore where she is from. Trayshia actually taught art at a public school, a subject she is still passionate about. Her undergraduate major was in fine arts and her Master’s was for Historical Preservation: “the side of museums besides the fine arts” is how Trayshia described the field of study. Before coming to City and Country, Trayshia taught fifth through eighth grades at an independent school in Harlem. C&C faculty members were looking around schools to expand their staff when they first saw Trayshia teaching.
Before Trayshia was a teacher, she spent her young life in Baltimore. As a high school student, Trayshia’s life was bittersweet. She often struggled to motivate herself academically, specifically saying, “I regret not pushing myself in the way that I could have.” The fact that she believes she could have tested her limits more in school actually gave her the desire to become a teacher. This seemingly unconventional reasoning surprised some of the XIIIs, but as the conversation with Trayshia continued, a common theme emerged. Trayshia’s teaching style was primarily built from her experiences in her young life as a student. When asked why she wanted to be a teacher, she responded, “Because I was an awful student!” and laughed.
The foundations for who Trayshia is now, also comes from her family, mainly her mom. Trayshia was raised by a single mother. Since her mother was often busy with multiple jobs, Trayshia was also cared for by her sister whom she said she is more afraid of than her mom--not that she never received “the eye” from her mother. Trayshia said she often finds herself doing things like “the eye” that her mom used to do, reinforcing the idea that Trayshia’s personality and the way she teaches are informed by both the hardships and positive experiences in her youth. Specifically, she strongly believes in a certain level of structure in education, which might be the result of her mom’s strictness. That said, Trayshia also thinks it is important for teachers to be caring, open-minded, and authentic with students.
Trayshia is excited to teach at City and Country and she said that the staff has already been very welcoming. She was shocked by how different our school was from the schools she had attended and taught at, specifically the teacher-student dynamic. On her visit, the printing press specifically stood out because of her background in the arts.
Trayshia looks forward to connecting with the students she interacts with because she knows it might not be too easy at this school since many of us don’t look like her or don’t come from a similar background. However, as the XIIIs have already discovered from her persistent attitude towards approaching conflicts, Trayshia is often up for a challenge.