At the end of the school day at Franklin Elementary in East Oakland, second grade teacher Darissa Phipps is trying out new techniques with her class to keep them engaged. Ms. Phipps sits at the head of the class with some handouts, waiting to get the students’ attention.
“I find the kids charming and entertaining most of the time – and it’s really exciting to see them learn and grow and how they change over the year from the beginning to the end,” says Phipps.
Samara Shever is a second and third grade “looping" teacher at Learning Without Limits Elementary School. Looping means Shever stays with the same class through their second and third grade years. She's been teaching this way for six years.
“When I started, we had just founded our school as a small public school," says Shever. "The reason we need a small school is because it allows us to have relationships with our students, and with our families in a way that if there are hundreds and hundreds of kids, you just can’t maintain.”