A FIRST GEN TEACHER FOR OUR FIRST GEN STUDENTS


On her Envision colleagues:  What I love about Impact is that the teachers are dedicated to their students and colleagues, and they’re passionate about what they teach. They are also some of the sharpest individuals I have ever met, with an incredible ability to think critically, solve problems, and support others.

On growing as a teacher:  I have grown SO much and have learned SO much while being a teacher at Impact. Among other things, I’ve learned to be a “warm demander.” My students know I love and care for them; I support them as best I can throughout their learning process and prop them when praise is due. That being said, I’ve also learned to warmly insist on my expectations being met. I’ve learned how to approach students, state factual observations, leverage the relationship I have with them, then warmly yet assertively state the expectation, and encourage students to get on the right track. This helps me in managing my classroom and maintaining an academic culture.

On a favorite classroom project:  My favorite project continues to be the Activism project at the end of the year. In this project, students select a societal problem they’re passionate about and ultimately, after conducting research, propose a solution to combat the problem to the school community. They show their solutions through presentations, videos, and artwork.

Every year, I see students select a problem that they’ve personally experienced or witnessed (e.g., domestic violence, gender inequality, racial profiling, physical/sexual/verbal abuse), and what always inspires me is their courage, vulnerability, and strength in speaking up about these issues. Every student learns more about a topic they’re passionate about; some students recognize the power of rhetoric and language in persuading others; and a noteworthy few, for the first time in their lives, decide to use this opportunity to take control of their pasts instead of letting their pasts control them.

This is an empowering moment for them – for some, it’s a turning point in their lives – and it’s a shining moment I love witnessing year after year.

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