North Oakland Community Charter School
Grade: 2nd & 3rd Grade
Masters in TESOL
My mother and my grandmother were both teachers, and after some initial resistance, I became a teacher too. While I was growing up, I was always provided with high quality educational experiences. Every time we moved, my parents sought out the best school district––schools with loads of extracurricular activities, small class sizes, inviting libraries with lots of books, and teachers that communicated their passion for teaching. I wouldn’t say that my family influenced me to work in education, but the way I was raised led me to enjoy success as a teacher.
My first experience with urban, high-needs schools was when I began teaching in New York City. My school was 90% English Language Learners and received large amounts of Title I and III funding. Most students’ families were recent immigrants, and they communicated their gratitude daily, despite not speaking much English. The students worked hard, and their parents supported them at home as best they could. Working with these students and their families helped me to understand how important it is for all students––regardless of family background, language, economic status, race, or culture––to receive the high quality education that I experienced as a child.
I look forward to seeing my students’ growth on a daily basis. Even if it’s one step forward, two steps back, in the end, there is always progress, and I like to see that we are working hard together to achieve something tangible. I’ve built strong relationships with students and families, and I love hearing from former students that they are in college or got into a great high school. I like to feel like they have remembered the work we did together and that it was meaningful to them on their journey through education.
This year I am working with colleagues and administration to pilot a teacher leadership and teacher support model at our school through a coaching program. We are hoping to improve levels of support and retention among both our newer and experienced staff members. Meeting teachers from all across Oakland in the Teacher Advisory Group has shown me that there are committed, innovative, and determined teachers in so many of our city’s schools.