By Teachers, For Teachers
Kyrene Del Pueblo Middle School
Life is like a river: ever-changing, ever-moving. If we don't learn to ride it, it will pass us by.
I grew up in a family that welcomed individuality and creativity. I am the youngest of three and always challenged myself to live up to my siblings' standards. School didn't come easily for me. I had to work twice as hard as everybody else just to get by.
I loved the teachers who were actually passionate about what they taught. I also loved hands-on classes. It wasn't until I went to college at Arizona State University that I had a teacher compliment my work. She gave me faith in my learning.
Every job I had ever had was working with kids. Through college I continued working with kids and worked hard in my studies, conquered my childhood struggles, becoming confident in my education and excelling thoroughly. Making the choice to become a teacher seemed easy and naturally for me. I wanted to change education for today's children. I didn't want another child to go through the struggles I went through.
Today, I teach 8th grade Language Arts and Reading in Chandler, Arizona. I have been teaching for six fabulous years. I just finished my Masters in Administration and Supervision and look forward to the direction that that may take me in the future.
When I'm not teaching or in classes, I love to travel! I have backpacked through nine countries in Europe and frequent the American coasts, from Seattle to San Diego, and especially New York City! I also love photography and kayaking! My family and I are still very close. I thank my parents for helping me to become a creative and independent woman. My river might be full of rapids, but I'm thankful that I chose to ride it!
Who was your favorite teacher? Why?
My English 101 professor in at Arizona State University was the first person who "saw" me. She was intriguing to listen to, always talked to us one on one, and made a point to do so. I can remember her being impressed by my ideas. She thought that I should tutor other students. Coming into college, I wasn't even confident enough to look a teacher in the eye if it had anything to do with school work. I was always so ashamed of my work. She turned all of that around for me.
What are three things every teacher should own?
Three things every teacher should own are: a stool, colorful pens, and his/her own look!
If you could have any person (living, dead or fictional) as a principal, who would it be?
It would have to be someone who is funny, flexible, demanding, yet committed. Maybe someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger wouldn't be so bad. I don't know anyone who would go up against him!
What profession other than your own would you most like to attempt?
If I could have any other profession other than my own, I would be a photographer (one that gets to travel the world).
Describe your all-time favorite lesson/unit activity.
My all-time favorite unit was over the novel The Giver by Lois Lowry. The book is just amazing on its own. I decided to break the class into learning circles. One group illustrated the plot; another recorded their voices, listened, and worked on their fluency. In the other groups, students read together, another group listened to the book on tape, another group worked on comprehension questions and literary responses together, and the last group did a book talk with me. We rotated three times in a period. Each station had benefits for every student. The students reacted very positively and it kept them engaged all period long. They had lots of fun at the fluency and illustration stations, and they preferred the comprehension and listening stations as an alternative to the whole class option. I loved being able to discuss the book in a small group setting. After a few days of this, we went back to whole class instruction and the discussion and participation that was created was outstanding!
What is the greatest misconception about teachers?
The greatest misconception about teachers is that we're all mean. We don't have it out for students. We're actually very happy, loving, caring, and funny people.
What stereotype about teachers is true?
One stereotype that is true about teachers is that we work too hard.
How did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
I knew I wanted to be a teacher because I didn't want students to go through the same type of education as I did. I struggled in my classes as a child and no one seemed to be able to help me. I want to be the kind of teacher who can reach her students, who listens, and who understands. I believe I can make a difference in many children's lives today.