Some of my family and friends were not entirely convinced when I decided to pursue education and return to graduate school for my multiple subject teaching credential and my M.Ed. I believe they had good intentions in their hearts - they wanted what was best for me, they wanted me to end up with a job that had a high paying salary, they wanted me to pursue a larger goal, one with more opportunities for leadership, one that held more societal respect and ranking. I excelled in math and science in grade school, they wanted me to pursue a job with management, business, economics, healthcare.
Walking into UCLA and being faced with a very turbulent, inspiring, and challenging experience with Teacher Education Program (TEP), I needed to find a support network of people who would support me. I needed friends, colleagues, and inspirations. I have had the honor of knowing, working, befriending, and loving some sensational individuals. Here are some of them:
A colleague and friend from TEP
A teacher who thinks critically about education, she inspires me to think thoroughly about my own classroom. Her organization and planning leads to creative and innovative projects and class trips. She is an amazing friend, who supports me even with the miles we have in between each other now.
A colleague and friend from CEG (my first school site)
We were teaching partners, kinder. That was a year I cannot forget - you can learn more about my experience there if you visit my Teacher Leadership paper. I survived my first year of teaching with Jesse by my side. He was resilient and courageous, and never left me hanging. We supported each other in our first year of teaching and in many ways I believe Jesse has shaped the way I treat and care for my students.
Jamie, Laura, Kate, Jeni, Lauren, Jaclyn, Tyna, Aja, Christine, Cynthia
All colleagues and great friends from my current school site, SDGVA.
Jamie, Laura, Kate, Jeni, Lauren, Jaclyn, Tyna, Aja, and Christine collectively saved me in 2012 when I joined the teaching team. Day to day, they demonstrated equity, love, rigor, resilience, and critical thinking for their students, families, and work professionalism. They took me into their teaching team and provided me with room to grow, to make the mistakes I make, and to talk me off ledges. They now support me in my journey to becoming a teacher leader, and they have become my best friends. Cynthia is my rock. We laugh, cry, get frustrated, and grow together at the site. A beautiful friendship with an amazing woman.