Andrea Flucas is a Program Manager for Deans for Impact. Andrea works with The Early Literacy by Scientific Design Network (ELbSD). As a part of this network, future teachers are prepared to plan and enact lessons grounded in the best scientific understanding of how students learn to read. Prior to joining the Deans for Impact team, Andrea served as a district intervention and dyslexia coordinator for a large public charter school system in Houston, TX. Andrea developed a love for literacy education as an elementary classroom teacher, Literacy Interventionist, New Teacher Mentor, Literacy Instructional Coach, and a curriculum writer for public school districts in the Houston Metroplex. Andrea received her Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Central Arkansas (Go Bears!) and her Master’s degree in education administration from the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk, Jayhawks!). In her spare time, Andrea enjoys spending time with family and friends, discovering new brunch spots, traveling, singing loudly at a music concert, and cuddling up with a good book.
What compels you about DFI's missing of ensuring that every child has a well-prepared teacher?
As an educator, I vividly remember my first year of teaching. I can recall the late nights, the daily anxiety, walking into the unknown, and the uncertainty that comes with being a novice teacher. However, what I did have was a great support team at my campus and a high level of preparedness from my teacher prep program at UCA. What compels me most about DFI’s mission is that I want to support teachers in feeling a high level of preparedness and confidence when they start their teaching career. The prospect of equipping teachers with the knowledge and skills they need to make a lasting, positive impact on the lives of their students fills me with a deep sense of purpose and determination.
What do you enjoy most about working at DFI?
What I enjoy most about working at DFI is the opportunity to work with such a dynamic group of individuals and our collective dedication to achieving the same vision and making a positive impact on education. We have a profound sense of shared purpose that permeates every aspect of our work. Ensuring that every child is taught by a well-prepared teacher is work that is purpose-driven, aimed at creating meaningful change and fulfilling.
Describe a teacher or student who made a lasting impact in your life.
The teacher who made a lasting impact in my life was not found in the classroom but in the pages of a book. My first year of teaching, I read a book to my students entitled Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco. This is a story about a young girl who struggled with dyslexia and her teacher who would not let her fail. The teacher in the story, Mr. Falker, believed in his students’ ability to learn, differentiated instruction to meet their needs, built their confidence, made learning fun and created a nurturing and safe learning environment. Mr. Falker became the blueprint for the teacher that I aspired to be and ultimately impacted the trajectory of my educational career. He inspired me to become an advocate for equitable literacy education and for closing the literacy learning gaps.
What's a principle, philosophy, or quote you live by, and why?
As a child my mother instilled in us the importance of treating people with kindness. Whether it is simply holding the door at the grocery store, saying hello when you pass someone on the street, or smiling at a stranger. She taught us that you may never know what a person is going through but your small act of kindness could be the one thing that motivates them to keep going. Therefore, I live my life according to the simple principle of being kind. Kindness won’t harm you but it can save us all!