Insights on the Recruitment Process with Ms. McGary

Brooke Newsletter

Introducing Chundranae McGary, a  Second Grade Teacher at Brooke East Boston since 2022. In this interview, she shares about  her motivation for relocating, why she chose to work at Brooke, and what her experience has been like thus far.

What particularly caught your attention about Brooke as you were looking for a role?

I went through the entire process with other schools, and the salary they offered didn’t compare, especially with the larger class sizes. I had set a certain salary expectation that I would be okay with, and Brooke exceeded my expectations with their compensation bracket. 

What encouraged you to move to Boston from Washington?

With an Associate’s degree in early education and a Bachelor’s in preschool through 3rd grade, and now pursuing my Master’s in special education, it’s clear I’m in education for a reason. The importance Massachusetts places on education is something I didn’t fully experience in Washington. So, I believe this change was necessary for me to witness the differences and to be in an environment where education is valued and where they are really trying to do the work.

What encouraged you to take this position at Brooke?

I knew I wanted to work in a charter school. Initially, I applied to some other schools, but those fell through and I was on the verge of giving up. I didn’t want to quit so I decided to research more charter schools. That’s when I discovered Brooke. As I read through the website and saw the population of kids being Black and Brown and saw the diverse staff at East Boston, I said, “I want to be part of that, I want that.”

Was there anything that Brooke did that felt supportive during the recruitment process? 

My interview with them didn’t feel like a typical interview; it felt more like they wanted to get to know me. They encouraged me to talk about myself, and then they asked questions. Meeting the team I would be serving with made a significant difference. Dave and, at the time, Alex, made me feel incredibly comfortable. Alex even gave me her number, offering support when I was leaving Washington, which meant a lot to me.

Compared to your previous school experience, is there anything specific that makes Brooke different? 

The rigor at Brooke has taught me that children will meet the standards you set for them. I believe that if I ever step out of Brooke, this lesson will stay with me. Kids are capable of doing, following, and hitting the bar you set for them. The material I’m teaching second graders here is similar to what I taught third graders in Washington. This experience has given me a new perspective on a child’s capabilities.

What has been challenging about working at Brooke?

You know, we got some long days around here! It has been an adjustment, and I don’t know if I will ever get used to it. However, even though it’s tough, I do see some of the benefits, such as having extra time to conference with kids outside of the typical school day. 

What is your favorite part about working at Brooke?

At my old school, I was one of only three people of color. So, entering a space where there are many faces and people that look like me, where I can connect with others or seek support when needed, feels amazing. Additionally, teaching Black and Brown kids, which wasn’t common where I came from, is something I can’t even put into words. To witness a classroom filled with faces that reflect my own, or whose parents understand my background, is truly valuable.