What's new?

In middle school I used to send a robust Christmas letter to upwards of 30 households, mostly family members, detailing school updates, basketball highlights, pet stories and other "vital" information. Clip art took these updates to the next level, and I'm sure these letters garnered some laughter and a few eye rolls. But ohhhh, did I love to talk about myself! I mention this now because I've been putting off this update forever, in part because of the insecurity I feel rattling off some recent happenings. The counselor in me is ready to unpack that, and even model a little vulnerability in the process! Plus, I've heard that small business owners shouldn't shy away from self-promotion.

Perhaps most importantly, BTEC exists because gaps in education exist. And too often the best educators are unable to fully exercise their interests, strengths and resources because of barriers (on multiple levels) we all face. With that in mind, I find myself with some exciting opportunities and updates, probably more exciting than a greyhound's sprained foot or a play-by-play of a 6th grade basketball game (Christmas '96).

Professional Development

After gaining CPS vendor status, we've been able to present on self-care and trauma at three different schools.

Photo cred: Orozco Academy

Check out feedback we received and our experience page to see a sample of what topics we could present at your school!


In addition to working with individual students and families, we've partnered with the nonprofit A Knock at Midnight to manage grant-sponsored tutoring with 10th grade students from Dunbar and Phillips high schools.

On any given Saturday you could walk into the AKAM offices and see upwards of thirty students, as excited for group tutoring as they are about field trips. We have ten tutors on staff, offering collaborative, engaging group sessions twice a month and matching with individual students when possible for weekly meetings.

relatus - the podcast

If you're reading this you probably know I have a podcast, equal parts exciting and terrifying, a work in progress and way to make connections and synthesize research.

Logo cred: Justine Hunter

If this is news to you and you're interested in student voice/narrative, education, systemic barriers and their impact on Chicago students (housing, mental health, criminal justice) you should give it a listen on your preferred platform: soundcloud, itunes, stitcher, google play.

BTEC opportunities

If you or someone you know may be interested in any of these opportunities, send an email to bettertogetheredcollab@gmail.com with the position description in the subject line.

Summer Spanish teacher - looking for a current, past or future Spanish teacher with summer availability:

  • We'll be working with AKAM to offer an original summer school curriculum to rising juniors from Dunbar and Phillips.

  • Exact dates and times TBD but program will likely run from late June through early August, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm, Monday-Friday on a college campus in the city

  • I'll be teaching English (woo hoo!) and we've got Math and Science covered... once we fill the Spanish position we'll be meeting to develop our own curriculum that prioritizes social/emotional and project-based learning

Summer mentoring - Seeking positive male role models age 21+ to work with South side students this summer; hours TBD

Individual tutoring - We're always looking for educators interested in picking up a client or two for long-term, individual tutoring. Right now I'd love to add someone to the ranks who has special education certification/experience!

Logo cred: Justine Hunter

Any connections...

...willing to let me pick your brain about grants? Coffee on me if you're in the Chicago area.

...considering going in to private practice, maybe even one day/evening a week? I'm close to my LCPC (licensed clinical professional counselor), so if I have friends or connections who've pondered this path, let's ponder together!

...want to volunteer? Communities in Schools Chicago is an awesome non-profit that BTEC has partnered with. I'm about to begin a free grief group with HS students, so if you're an educator who is not working full-time let's brainstorm what other services we could provide!

...love curriculum and development? I've got some great ideas in the works!

Happy 1 year anniversary to BTEC, and much thanks to the friends, fam and former colleagues who've been so helpful and supportive along the way.

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(312) 834-3186

Madison, WI   ||   Chicago, IL