Revitalizing Oakland Education for Students
What I love most about Oakland is the creative spirit.
It’s so diverse and unique.Pamela R. Mullen
Did you grow up in Oakland? If not, what brought you to Oakland?
I was born and raised in Oakland, California.
What is your connection to Oakland Education?
How would you describe your role in the community?
My connection to Oakland education would be the fact that I am so fortunate to have grown up and lived in a city with such amazing history, culture and beauty. And I feel it is my duty, right, and responsibility to share with my students this incredible knowledge. In hopes that they will share and keep the Oakland legacy flowing.
What are your favorite aspects of your job?
My favorite aspect of my job is when I have that one student who has been struggling in an area of study. He or she works so hard and they refuse to give up – you can see it in their eyes. And one day, out of the struggle, THEY GET IT!! What a joy for them, their families and of course, ME!
Share one or two highlights from your career, in which you believe you made an impact.
One special highlight- and do know there are many-was a few years ago. I had a scheduled parent conference, and my parent walked in with a lady who look very familiar. The lady walked over to me and handed me an old, tattered certificate she had received in June,1992, for good behavior. It turned out she was my former student and I gave her the certificate. She said it meant so much to her and she saved it. It turned out she was the sister of my parent I was having a conference with that day. When my former student found out I was the teacher of her niece, she had to see me. What a joy!
What from your background do you believe led you to do what you do now?
I feel what led me to do what I am doing now is my mother and sister. My mother was a high school teacher for 47 years, and she taught at one high school. My sister worked with Special Needs students for 12 years. Both of these women are so amazing and they truly loved what they did in education. They both were, and still are awesome models for me.
What motivates you?
My daughter, Ciarra, my mother, Dorothy, my sister, Tamara, my uncle, Leon and close friends motivate me. They are the ones who believe in me and remind me never to give up. They support me through the good times as well has the bad times. They love me.
What do you love most about Oakland?
What I love most about Oakland is the creative spirit. It’s so diverse and unique.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I am a super fan. I love to watch basketball (GO WARRIORS! ) and football (Please GO RAIDERS and 49ers! ). I’m also a super mom fan – my daughter plays Rugby all over. I try to make it to some of her games and it is so exciting to see her play. SHE IS SO AWESOME! ( That’s the PROUD mom talking.) I also like to watch any Tyler Perry movies.
Pam Mullen is one of the finest teachers I have ever seen with young children. She is currently a Kindergarten teacher at Garfield. She taught TK for 3 years before that and K-3 for 20 years before that. She’s simply amazing. She attends to the social emotional growth and early literacy and math skills while creating a culture of young scholars who LOVE school and her.Susan True
What is your best advice to young people?
My best advice to young people would be, regardless of what is happening around you, never stop loving and believing in yourself. You can always count on yourself.
If you were to reimagine public education in Oakland, what would that vision look like?
My vision to reimagine public education in Oakland would be total Creativity and Play for our youngest scholars to our oldest scholars. Where students would be excited about coming to school because they would be learning Math Concepts, Reading, Language Arts, etc. by way of Creativity and Play – WHAT FUN! And the great thing about it, when the students were being assessed, they scored off the chart. How awesome that would be?!
60 Seconds with Pam Mullen