The Turtle Way: Mr. Keane’s Reflections

Story by Meeting Street Schools / June 3, 2022

I could not be more proud of our upper elementary school scholars here at Meeting Street @Burns. I could go on forever about their academic growth and development as young learners, but their growth and achievement percentiles speak for themselves. Instead, I wanted to focus on the commitments they made to a culture of curiosity and embracing abnormalities that eventually led to their outstanding academic success.

We learned all year that in order to make a strong argument, there must be a balance between relevant evidence and thorough elaboration and analysis. Our 5th graders used these skills to support arguments they made for the impact of war on boy soldiers and women during the Civil War after reading The Boys War and The River Between Us.  In this case, I am going to be somewhat hypocritical though. I’m going to skip the elaboration piece. Please don’t tell them… 

I don’t need to elaborate or explain to anyone why or how our scholars achieved what they achieved. I just have hard evidence. I have real, tangible things that they committed to early in the year. They trusted us, bought in and began to show the world the tip of the iceberg as to what they are capable of achieving. These are just a few of those ideas:

  • Celebrate vulnerability
  • No opting out, we all try! 
  • Asking questions is cool
  • Embrace what makes us unique

By forming these ideas together and creating a strong culture early in the school year, the rest was on our incredible staff to make sure we put the right things in front of them. Throughout the year, they became analytical readers through their novel studies of books like HatchetThe Phantom Tollbooth, and Blood on the River. They strengthened their math skills like multiplying fractions, dividing decimals, and finding volume. You could walk into any classroom on any day and find fifteen to twenty young adults deep in thought, writing a text-dependent analysis, or leading an academic discussion. 

Our turtles work hard, but they can play hard too. Take a walk around the building after school and you might stumble upon the vibrant creations of our art club. You might take a peak in the gym and catch a glimpse of our hard working basketball players or step team. They are writers, artists, athletes, scientists, mathematicians, musicians, and so much more.  They are creative, compassionate, resilient, and brave. The list goes on for ways I could describe our brilliant scholars. 

The City of Charleston is one full of growth, innovation, and diversity. I can’t wait to see how our students in the Dorchester- Waylyn community of North Charleston put their stamp on their city and the rest of the world. 

By Ben Keane

5th Grade ELA Teacher @Burns


Make A DifferenceJoin Us!

Join a community of incredible, passionate people working to change the lives of our students. Our compensation and benefits are a cut above the rest: the most competitive total compensation in the region.

Start Your Career!

News & Notes93% of MSA-Charleston Alumni Are College Going This Year

Read More

Our Schools

MSA – Charleston

Pre-K3 To 6th

Downtown Charleston, SC

Learn More

MSA – Spartanburg

Pre-K3 To 5th

Downtown Spartanburg, SC

Learn More

MS – Brentwood

Pre-K3 To 8th

North Charleston, SC

Learn More

MS – Burns

Pre-K3 To 6th

North Charleston, SC

Learn More

MS – Jasper & Beaufort

K To 1st

Jasper County, SC

Learn More


  • 1/3

“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

  • 2/3

“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

  • 3/3

“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