SOLID GREEN Teacher Feature – Molly Peterson

Story by Jen Jordan / September 5, 2023

Which MSS campus do you teach at?

Meeting Street Academy-Spartanburg

Why did you decide to be a teacher?

I decided to be a teacher because I found a love for teaching others through a dance camp I had started with some friends in high school. The more I worked with children, the more I realized how passionate I was about it! As I studied more about education in college I developed a growing need to make a difference that was bigger than me in our world.

Why do you choose to stay in the classroom?

Working in the classroom allows me to work directly with students daily and build a classroom culture that allows my students to grow and have those lightbulb moments. There is no better feeling in the world than to take a look at your class and see the social and academic growth they have made with you. It also allows me to continue to learn as an educator daily as I continue to master our curriculums and create structured plans for small group that best helps the class I am working with that year.

What is the most challenging part of being a teacher?

Wearing all the hats that is required of a teacher can be a lot. Teachers at MSA have such a passion and drive to be the best for our kids that we want to provide the best we can in all areas. I’m still learning how to give from my bucket, but also take the time to fill my own bucket so that I can be the best for my students and myself.

What is the most rewarding part of being a teacher?

Seeing students grow both socially and academically throughout the year. When a student meets their goal or finally masters a skill you have been working on it makes it all worth it.

Why did you choose to teach at Meeting Street Schools?

I strongly believe in the mission of MSA and the belief that all students can learn. As soon as I stepped into the building on the day of my interview I knew it was a place I was meant to be at! I also found the support they provided for teachers very intriguing because I knew I would be set up for success here.

What makes Meeting Street Schools different?

Meeting Street Schools hold high expectations for their students and their staff. We work with a sense of urgency for our students through analyzing data and continuing to grow our own brains through constant collaboration with our co-workers. Continuous feedback is given to us so that we can monitor and adjust to meet the needs of our students.

If you were to write a letter to yourself during your first year of teaching giving yourself advice, what would you say?

I would tell myself to take the first year as a learning year and not to compare myself to others, but to take the time and learn from others. Your co-workers are your best resources and will be your key to growing in this career! Also I would tell myself to take the time to celebrate wins, even the small ones!

 

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About Meeting Street Schools

Meeting Street Schools (MSS) is an innovative non-profit where schools, families, and the community collaborate to create environments where all children can achieve their full potential. With a network of schools across South Carolina, including MSA-Charleston (Charleston, SC), MSA-Spartanburg (Spartanburg, SC), MS-Brentwood (North Charleston, SC), MS-Burns (North Charleston, SC), and MS-Jasper & Beaufort (Jasper, SC), we are committed to providing students with the rigorous education they deserve.

Founded on the principle that every child deserves an excellent education regardless of their socio-economic background, Meeting Street Schools has been a beacon of hope and a testament to what's possible in education. Our schools are driven by a strong focus on student achievement, evidence-based instruction, and relentless support of our students and their families.

While united by our shared mission, each MSS campus, is unique in its character, tapping into the local spirit of the communities they serve. Explore each of our schools and discover how they're creating a brighter future for students in South Carolina.

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Our Schools

MSA – CharlestonDowntown Charleston, SC - Independent School - Since 2008 - 364 Students

Nestled in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina, MSA Charleston is more than just a school—it’s a hub for innovative learning and community engagement. As part of the Meeting Street Schools network, MSA Charleston embodies a commitment to excellence through its rigorous academic programs, inclusive culture, and focus on developing the whole child. With a curriculum that emphasizes both academic and personal growth, MSA Charleston prepares students to be curious learners and active citizens of their community.

MSA – SpartanburgDowntown Spartanburg, SC - Public School - Since 2012 - 323 Students

MSA Spartanburg stands as a pillar of educational innovation in the Spartanburg community. The school’s dedicated educators and supportive learning environment ensure that each child receives a high-quality, personalized education with exceptional faculty and teachers. MSA Spartanburg is distinguished by its emphasis on community partnership, fostering relationships that extend beyond the classroom to build a strong foundation for lifelong learning and success.

MS – BrentwoodNorth Charleston, SC - Public School - Since 2014 - 694 Students

MS Brentwood is a place where education meets opportunity. Serving the Brentwood area, this school is a testament to the transformative power of education. With a student-centered approach that celebrates diversity and encourages excellence, MS Brentwood is dedicated to equipping students with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. MS Brentwood also serves as a hub for the Brentwood community to access educational and wellness services. The school’s commitment to innovation, coupled with a warm, welcoming environment, makes it a standout in the MSS network.

MS – BurnsNorth Charleston, SC - Public School - Since 2018 - 478 Students

Located in a community rich with history and culture, MS Burns is renowned for its dynamic educational approach that intertwines traditional learning with modern teaching techniques. The school’s focus on experiential learning ensures that students at MS Burns are not only recipients of knowledge but also active participants in their educational journey. MS Burns exists to spark an educational revolution for the students and families in the Dorchester-Waylyn Neighborhood in North Charleston. With a commitment to creating a supportive and challenging academic environment, MS Burns is forging a new path in public education.

MS – Jasper & BeaufortJasper County, SC - Public Charter School - Fall 2023 -

MS Jasper represents the Meeting Street Schools’ dedication to community-based education with a global perspective. The school provides a nurturing environment where students are encouraged to explore their potential and cultivate a love for learning. With its diverse programs such as Eureka Math, and Wit and Wisdom, MS Jasper puts a major emphasis on character development, specialized learning and equips students to become thoughtful, engaged members of society, reflecting the MSS ethos of empowerment through education.

CommunityVoices

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“Meeting Street Academy is my family. They taught me that I am valuable. I am an asset to the world…They asked me, ‘What is your dream?’ I had never been asked that before. The MSS community gives me the strength to pursue my dreams.”

— Kadelyn SteedStudent

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“We come into work everyday truly believing that our students are capable of achieving anything that is put in front of them. Here at MSS, students are provided the opportunity to achieve success through the facilitation of well-educated teachers, resources, and a responsive classroom school environment.”

— NikToshia GilesTeacher

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“MSA is a family. Once you’re in, you’re in. They said they would follow our kids from K-3 to college and they actually lived up to what they said they would do. Not only did MSA challenge my daughter academically but it also exposed her to new things that she probably wouldn’t have been exposed to at our previous neighborhood school. Our journey at MSA was exciting and rewarding. They actually walk the walk.”

— Tyeka GrantParent