I grew up as a brown girl in a white world in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I came to the Bay to pursue my Master’s degree in Bilingual education at UC-Berkeley and knew I wanted to be a much needed teacher of color in the public schools and work with urban youth. I have lived in Oakland for the past 13 years ever since I finished graduate school and could not imagine living any other place. I am so grateful to raise my son here.
I have actually spent that last 13 years teaching in the bilingual program in San Leandro at a beautifully complex public school with almost 900 students and mostly immigrant families. Most of the students I taught were either recent immigrants or first generation from Michoacan, México. I am happy to begin my first year teaching in Oakland this year as the Spanish kindergarten teacher at Roses in Concrete.
I see my role in the community as being multi-faceted. I aim to develop strong relationships with my students and their families to gain their trust and be able to authentically partner with them to ensure that all my students are inspired and excited by their education. I take the responsibility of learning together with my students very seriously and feel honored to be able to set the tone of what education can look and feel like as a Kindergarten teacher.
I LOVE my students and I love their families. I love working within a tight knit community and being able to tell my students each year that I held them the first time they came to school as a baby. I learn so much about myself through my work and have endless gratitude for the way that my students remind me to stay authentically true to who I am and show me that vulnerability is the true way to connect and deepen relationships.
One of my most favorite things to do is visit my students in their homes or elsewhere after hours to deepen connections with those who most need it. I love the immediate impact that came from visiting one of my challenging students at his restaurant where his family works after school because it allowed me to paint the picture of why he had been falling asleep in class and acting out.
This simple act of having dinner with his family and taking laminated special materials for him to work on while there fundamentally shifted the way that my student showed up in school the next day all because he knew that I cared that much and would be anything and everything possible to ensure that he was successful in every way in my classroom.
After all, isn’t the real revolution about love? What would education be like if every single student in every single classroom felt loved and knew that their teacher believed in them and would do anything possible to ensure their success?
… he knew that I cared that much and would be anything and everything possible to ensure that he was successful in every way in my classroom.
I became a teacher because I wanted to be that teacher of color that I never had growing up. I also got into education because I knew I wanted to be a part of students not only maintaining their native language(s), but also growing up feeling proud of what made them culturally and linguistically unique. This was something that was missing from most of my childhood and I spent way too many years wishing I would wake up white and blonde!
I love the art, culture, music, and people of Oakland. I love the feeling that I have when I go to the playground and see kids of all shades and backgrounds speaking different languages. I always feel immediately back home whenever I leave and come back to Oakland.
My students and my son motivate me to dedicate my life to creating the schools that our children deserve.
I love playing soccer with my son and walking around Lake Merritt.
My best advice to young people is to find the love in learning…to remind them that they have the power and the right to an inspiring education that pushes, reflects, and connects them to becoming their best selves.