I was in high school at the height of the AIDS crisis. And as a 13- and 14-year-old, I would sneak away into the city to meet up with this group of people, mostly gay men and Black women, who…
Teacher stories, interviews, and videos related to joy.
It's hard to view my career in stories. Maybe it's not even my story. Maybe it’s the story of my dad. I grew up in South Chicago. My dad was a preschool teacher. And everywhere we went, it was like, ‘El maestro, el maestro!’ And so that made me a celebrity by extension: la hija del maestro.
Because we don't have art in our building, I actually have an easel and paint in the back of my classroom. The kids come in for breakfast, they see me painting.
Parents are heard by the school administration... I would like to encourage parents to communicate their joy, not just their frustration.
I have the honor and joy of teaching U.S. history and civics to recent immigrant and refugee students. My students come from more than 30 countries: from Colombia, to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to Cambodia. Most of my students have been in the U.S. for less than five years.
I was pretty close with my brother. He ended up going to jail when I was in fourth grade. We were having morning meeting at school, and the question that day was, ‘How are you feeling?’
I grew up in Oak Park in the 1980s. People were all about the melting pot. The idea was that everyone is the same and nobody looks different — we're all part of this collective homogenous blob. One of the drawbacks to that was that I was never really seen.
I have one student who really sticks out in my mind. I had him in my class when I taught seventh grade, and then he was in my class again when I switched to eighth grade. So I got to have him in my math class two years in a row. And he would do a lot of odd jobs around the room — hanging posters, things like that.