Chandell Stone comes from a place where most people don't go to college, and she has many family members who have been incarcerated. Her dad dropped out of school and never earned a high-school diploma and her mom got her degree online while Chandell was in high school. She says she never had many examples of how to be successful, and there was no precedent for the work she wanted to do in the future. Nonetheless, she graduated from college near the top of her class with a degree in math, attended Harvard for graduate school, started a company at 22, and became an assistant principal at 24.
Chandell says: “I am humble, but I am also fearless and this is my year to tell my story.”
Your Side Gig? Destination Teach is a volunteer-travel social benefit corporation offering Moroccan and Kenyan adventures. Our organization uses fees collected from travelers to support scholarships for Kenyan teachers and, with the help of our volunteers, will be hosting the first teacher development conference in the Kisumu area the summer of 2018.
Tell us a little about your work. I am currently an assistant principal at a middle school in the Bronx. I started this organization about four years ago when I started teaching in Harlem. Both schools are high-performing charter schools with extended schools days, requiring at least 50 hour weeks.
What led you to work outside the classroom? I learned about our partner school in Kisumu, Kenya while in graduate school. A friend of mine, who founded the school, asked me to check it out and see what I thought. I visited and was truly inspired by the teachers. I wanted to do something to support them. They were severely underpaid, lacked a college education, and had limited classroom resources. Nonetheless, they were extremely committed to serving their community and had sky-high expectations for what kids from the slums could accomplish. This really fueled my desire to pursue this program idea.
One of Chandell's Must Reads.
What advice do you have for other teachers who want to do what you do? There is such a thing as being too humble. Don't be embarrassed to let people know what you do, even if it is small. You never know what doors can be opened.
What's the biggest mistake you've made and what did you learn? The biggest mistake I made was not valuing all of my connections — staying in touch, reaching out for help, and supporting the work of others. These misses led to a couple of lost opportunities.
If you could go back and give your 20-year old self some advice, what would it be? Don't stress about mistakes of the past or try to plan every detail of your future. Do the right thing now, and everything will work out for the best.
If your FUTURE self in 20 years could look back at where you are today, what advice might the Future You offer the Current You? The same exact advice! I still haven't taken it. Haha!
Which resources do you rely on the most? I use Squarespace for my website, Jotform for registration/payment processing, and MailChimp for email marketing.
When are you the happiest? When I am traveling or experiencing new things.
Do you have a favorite quote or expression? “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure,” by Marianne Williamson. Also, my aunt says ” Don't let grass grow under your feet,” meaning don't be complacent or stay still too long.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do, be, or try? It sounds crazy, but I am exactly where I want to be. I've taken risks, and they luckily have worked out in my favor. No regrets… except maybe a couple of guys I dated in college. They were a waste of time.
What are the 2-3 most important work-related purchases you've made in the last year? Nice professional attire, a PR rep, and Spanish courses. Essentially, my advice here is to invest in yourself.
You're being shot at dawn; what's your last dinner request? Lobster tail, fish tacos, curry fried chicken, baked macaroni, and Brussel sprouts.
Are there specific resources you use that you'd recommend to others? I read a lot of the Harvard Business Review and apply some of what I read to my business and school leadership as well. I listen to Angela Rye's podcast for a black female perspective on current political issues.
What's your next goal? To start my own charter school, or purchase a child care center.
This teacher profile is part of SimpleK12's Extra Teacher Income series, where we interview educators about the things they're doing outside of the classroom, for both enjoyment and also a little bit of cash. To read more in this series go here, or to suggest your own story and a possible profile, go here.
If you have any questions for Chandell or anything else related to this topic (and there will be more extra teacher income profiles and stories coming soon), please leave them below in the Comments.
For a different extra teacher income story, check on what Heather Brandon (blogging and educational consulting) is up to.
Or, follow along with full-time college prof, Dustin York, and his many side gigs.
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