Spelman alum and Ron Clark Academy educator Pam Haskins nurtures Black scholars

Students in boarding and private schools have an advocate

Pamela Haskins is an educator who goes the extra mile for her students. Haskins also writes intensive course instruction for both adults and children that teaches them to analyze literature and make it relatable to current events. She was born to parents who both attended HBCUs and to a family loaded with educators who inspired her to do the same.

Haskins attended Spelman, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English and she currently teaches at the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta. The academician describes herself as an autodidactic learner who reads several books at a time on a consistent basis.

What is your scope of work as an educator?

I don’t just teach in a classroom. I try to make sure that I can help families transform their futures through educational opportunities. The goal is to make sure that students and families understand that the educational landscape has changed tremendously and I’m not talking about just from the COVID transition to online school, I’m talking about even before that. There were so many opportunities that our families, especially families of color, didn’t even know were out there. I’m a mom of three [and] my husband and I have always looked at our children and thought about their goals.

How has your life as a parent influenced your work?

We always look at raising our family beginning with the end in mind, meaning, what our sons will do for a living. What will our daughter have access to for a living? We looked at our children and we looked to see what they were inclined to do. What did they like? What did they excel at? What were they challenged by, and we took that into consideration. So at very young ages, we noticed certain things about our students and our children. That led us to think, “now how do I steer this gift into something that they can feed themselves later on?”

What are some of the challenges that you face?

I started out in middle school and then I went to high school. When I got to the high school level, I recognized that these children were in a position where I had to make sure that they were completely literate, not messing over words. I needed to ensure they were not half reading, but really able to read poetry and prose, applications, and contracts, because they were going to leave my classroom and go out into the world. I needed them to be equipped. Then I realized, these are the students that will be in the world navigating with my own children. So then, of course, I’m invested to make sure that the next generation is ready to go.

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