McClymonds High School

Grade & Subject: 9th Grade- Teacher Development
Masters in Education, National Board Candidate

It should come as no surprise that I ended up being a teacher. I have been surrounded by educators all my adult life. I looked up one day and realized that all of my friends were teachers and I had never thought about becoming one myself. The vibe and passion they exhibited in their discussions about teaching and schools was always so inspirational. Being involved in these discussions made realize that teaching was what I was meant to do.

I had many educational experiences that challenged me to push myself beyond what I may have thought I was capable of. Coming through these experiences with newfound knowledge and perspectives really motivated me to keep exploring and growing. I have a deep interest in reading, which was inspired by reading Shakespeare. I never thought about Shakespeare until I was introduced to him by my high school English teacher. She encouraged me to look deeper into the text and pull from it what I saw as valuable.

I use that same approach in my work with both students and teachers. I remember one student in particular from my first year teaching special education. A student remarked to my mentor, and his veteran teacher at the school, that he really liked my class because he could tell that I was really trying to teach them something. This stays with me as a reminder that teachers have a deeper obligation than to just regurgitate what’s in the text books. We are given the opportunity to really make a difference, and I believe that it is our duty to take full advantage of it.

My main role is to support the growth and development of teachers in their practice. I look forward to helping teachers become the inspiration for their students. There are a lot of great teachers who are dedicated to Oakland and the city’s students. It is the teachers who I feel are the most promising thing about the future of education in Oakland.