Quick Pivot: From CIF Championship to Distance Learning

Final Score: 42-31: On February 27, 2020 the Central City Value High school girls’ basketball team, led by Coach Jasmine Bryant, met the challenge and won the CIF Division 3 City Championship. Two weeks later on March 16, Ms. Bryant, Central City’s talented 12th grade English teacher, led her students on another challenge, Distance-Learning.

 Coach Jasmine Bryant and CCVHS athletes met the challenge as CIF Division 3 City Champions.
Coach Jasmine Bryant and CCVHS athletes met the challenge as CIF Division 3 City Champions.
 Ms. Bryant's 12th grade English Honors class makes the pivot to distance learning.
Ms. Bryant's 12th grade English Honors class makes the pivot to distance learning.

Whether coaching or teaching, Ms. Bryant is an excellent role model. Inspired by her math and English teachers from Pasadena’s John Muir High School, whom she describes as “approachable, relatable and real,” Ms. Bryant decided as an undergraduate at UCLA on a career in teaching.

The high school classroom provides the setting for Ms. Bryant to demonstrate Value Schools’ Value 5 “giving back to the community.” Another way that Ms. Bryant builds community with her students is through her participation in the school’s Senior Retreat. The retreat takes months of planning with alumni, school leaders and teachers. During the retreat, Ms. Bryant shares her story as a high school and college student and the life lessons experienced as well as the important people in her life who have shaped her character. The consummate team player, Ms. Bryant participated in the Value Schools’ Summer Institute where veteran teachers meet with teachers who are new to our schools to share best practices on how to impart our five core values. When asked why she attended the Institute, she said, “I feel like I have a lot to learn from other teachers.”

During her first year at Central City, she volunteered to coach girls’ softball. Based on that experience, she accepted the opportunity to coach the girls’ basketball team. After losing in the first round of the CIF Division 4 playoffs in back to back years, 2018 and 2019, she led the same group of athletes to this year’s CIF Division 3 championship. It is not surprising that she carries this perseverance practiced on the basketball to her classroom. She is motivated to help all of her students to become the best version of themselves by building positive relationships. Inspired by the memory of her high school teachers, Ms. Bryant is relatable and certainly very “real”. At the beginning of each school year, she sets the course saying, “I teach, because you want to learn and graduate.” Through that mutual understanding and trust, she challenges her students, “let’s get along and do the job!”

Since March 16, Ms. Bryant and her colleagues at the school have quickly pivoted to Distance Learning through Zoom sessions. The teachers use a combination of live instruction and google classroom to continue to challenge their students. However, she misses talking with her students in the hallway and hanging out with “regulars” who choose her classroom as their community space for lunch. It is clear that Ms. Bryant continues to approach each day with empathy and patience, as she understands the challenges our students face.