Hannah Bunis teaches third grade at Akili Academy. A graduate from the University of Arizona, Bunis has spent the first four years of her teaching career at Akili. She is currently working to obtain her master’s degree in education from the Relay Graduate School of Education.
As a Sociology major, Bunis said the topics discussed in her classes is what drew her to work in education. “Most of my classes addressed some type of social or economic inequality, and it was very important to me that when I graduated college I would do something to actively combat that.” Through teaching she knew she would be able to provide children with the education they needed to make choices for themselves in the future. Her favorite part about working in education has been the opportunity to spend valuable time with her students. “Spending every day surrounded by such interesting, sincere, intelligent, and hilarious children, and knowing I am making a difference in their lives, is the reason I wanted to become an educator.”
When asked about her favorite aspect of teaching, Bunis said that she values the strong relationships with her students and their families she is able to develop. “These relationships motivate me to do my very best and fuel my ‘whatever it takes’ mentality,” she said. She does acknowledge that this deep connection to her students comes with the challenge of feeling that she could be doing more. “I am constantly thinking of strategies, methods, and lessons that can help my students. It’s definitely important to take a step back and recognize all the hard work I have done to help them accomplish their success.”
In reflecting upon her growth, she attributes much of that to her experiences at Akili. “Akili has allowed me to attend professional development sessions with the Achievement Network (ANet) and Teacher’s College,” she said. Bunis recognizes that the feedback she receives from her supervisor has driven her to become a better teacher. “I am grateful to work for an organization that understands the importance of believing and investing in their teachers.”
When asked how she stays motivated, Bunis shared a quote she reads every morning, “Care about each student you teach because each child deserves a caring teacher. They will be able to tell by your actions, and it will come naturally. The children who are most difficult to love need it the most.”