Roosevelt Middle School

Grade & Subject: 6th, 7th & 8th- Special Education & Math
UC Berkeley: BA- Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
Loyola Marymount University: MA, Urban Education, Policy and Administration

I wouldn’t be a teacher today if it weren’t for Angela Marino, my thesis advisor at UC Berkeley. Her influence on my understanding of education cannot be underestimated. I walked into her class, and was exposed for the first time to the idea of learning using different modalities. She also inspired me to focus on my community and identity––asking me, “What communities does your identity belong to?” This questions spurred me on to create work that allows me to support and grow in communities that intersect with my identity.

As a Special Day Math teacher at Roosevelt Middle School, working on differentiating materials for students at every level, the lessons I learned from Professor Morino come into play every day. I work closely with families of students with IEPs, and I collaborate with the Math department towards moving our school into a full inclusion model. I am most proud when I see my students understanding and using the skills we learned in class.

Another experience that shaped my views on education was when I was one of ten students to receive a full-ride scholarship to study the arts in London. My focus of study was Shakespeare. It was the summer of 2012 and I remember visiting Shakespeare’s burial site, exploring different parts of the city, and seeing the Queen and the royal family. This exposure was another great opportunity to explore the intersection of identity and community.

Oakland is a wonderfully diverse city with students and families from all kinds of backgrounds. I look forward to working with all of these students, helping them enjoy learning, and helping them identify how their unique identities fit into our very heterogeneous city. Working alongside so many new and veteran teachers who are creating a more inclusive and welcoming learning environment for all students is really inspiring.