B.A. in Sociology, 2009; Master of Arts in Teaching, 2010
School of Education
March 1, 2015
“My UCI banner reminds me of the excellence and rigor that I come from.”
When I enter my classroom each morning, one of the first things I see is my UC Irvine banner hanging behind my desk. It reminds me of the excellence and rigor that I come from, as well as the excellence and rigor that I strive for each day with my students.
I earned my Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential and Master of Arts in Teaching from UC Irvine in 2010. Since then, I’ve returned to northern California to serve my hometown area in the Santa Cruz County region. My first year out of college was spent substitute teaching in just about every grade level from K-12. That experience, coupled with my education at UCI and student teaching, proved to be invaluable as my career has taken many turns in grade and subject changes.
In 2011, I was hired to share a 3rd grade contract at San Juan School with another new teacher. This fueled my appreciation and love for collaboration because I had someone to work and grow with as an educator. It was reminiscent of my time at UCI because collaborating with peers was an integral part of the credential program for me. I learned so much about teaching and best practices from sharing experiences and reflecting with my colleagues, whether it was during class, through a group project, or discussing my teaching after a tough day.
When the 6th grade math and science teacher went on a part-time special assignment later that year, I picked up the other half of her contract. I spent the remainder of the year teaching 6th grade math and science for part of the week and 3rd grade the rest of the week. I was determined to prove that I could handle any assignment and still maintain high standards for each and every student, no matter the grade or subject matter. I spent the next two years teaching 6th grade English language arts, math, science, and physical education, and 7th grade science, all of which really put my multiple subjects credential and methods courses to work. In addition, I served on several committees such as leadership committee and student council committee.
Last year, I was recognized as Teacher of the Year.* It was completely unexpected, but it was such a special moment to be honored for my hard work and dedication to my students. Shortly after receiving this award, my principal, who has always been incredibly supportive since the day she hired me, announced that she was moving to a different school. I took the opportunity to join her and applied for an open position at the new school. That’s how I’ve found myself teaching 8th grade English Language Arts and History at Aromas School this year. I currently coach 8th grade volleyball, and we are working diligently to have an undefeated season.
Along the way, I’ve utilized the strategies and best practices I learned at UCI from my professors and mentors. The education I received there left me confident in my abilities and willing to accept any challenge presented to me. With all of the grade changes and diverse situations new teachers encounter, it’s crucial to have a strong foundation of skills, strategies and tools in order to be successful. It’s a learning process each and every day, and reflection is necessary with every decision. All of this hard work is truly fulfilling, and I feel truly blessed to work with my 8th graders and wonderful colleagues every day.
* San Benito County Office of Education selects Teachers of the Year based on their demonstration of seven outstanding teacher qualities, which include the demonstration of engaging teaching styles, a perpetual desire to upgrade their own education, and an ongoing desire to be a champion for students, schools, and the community.