PROGRAM — Traditional Public District School

Why did you become an educator?

I became an educator because I wanted to teach in an underserved community. I firmly believe that education is a factor that can alter the trajectory of someone’s life. As a teacher, I instill the importance of education in my students. As a 4th and 5th grade teacher, many of my students haven’t started thinking about college when they enter my classroom. After their experience with me, each of my students understands that our work is grounded in college readiness.

Initially, many of my students don’t have college within their vision of the future. They think college is out of their scope, and only high school is within their purview. My mission is to ignite a fervor for learning that excites them about attending college. I want them to know that college is an option for them too, and it is a conduit to a wealth of opportunities.

What do you love about your school?

My school is unique, because it’s a school of families. When I say a school of families, I mean that all of the students are related in some way. Every year, I have a sibling or cousin of a former student of mine. It’s like we’re one big extended family, and I love that!

Why is it important that lower income children can attend schools of choice?

It is imperative that lower income children can attend schools of their choice. For the last three years, I’ve taught low income children. Many of them are exceptionally smart, and could probably benefit from being enrolled in a gifted program. Additionally, the schools that children attend can influence if they are considered competitive applicants for certain high schools and colleges.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I am currently teaching remotely, and it has been challenging for my students. Many of them don’t have a quiet space that’s conducive for learning. In spite of their circumstances, I am impressed by their resilience every day. Many of them are working diligently from cell phones. They are truly invested in their learning. Most of them are being responsible and logging on to class without parental intervention. I am in awe of my students. They are survivors!

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