I welcome students into my classroom by giving them information about myself and asking them to do the same. Students will write and use visuals to describe their community.
Poetry: I am not just a poet but also a spoken word poet who has performed poetry on many stages. I have been writing since I was 13 years old. I loved poetry as soon as I began reading it in high school. I was inspired to become a teacher when I conducted poetry workshops with many teenagers in prison. I had so much fun listening to the poems and raps the class created. The class was filled with music, videos, art and theater games. After this experience, I knew I wanted to work with high school students and share my love for literature.
Family: I grew up in Las Vegas with my parents and my brother. The reason I moved here, besides school, was because my mother grew up in Washington Heights. She told me all about living in New York in the 60's and I was fascinated. She moved here from Puerto Rico when she was eight years old. My dad is from Canada and he moved to the United States to start a business. Growing up, I traveled to Puerto Rico and Canada to visit my relatives and learn about their lifestyles. Now, I enjoy learning about different ways of living.
When I was in high school, I was a very shy student. It took many years and great teachers to help me get more comfortable. I had a very inspirational English teacher who always encouraged everyone to speak. He said we all can learn from each other and that’s why it’s important to listen to one another. He said we could miss out on learning something new because someone is too shy to say something. He taught me that with practice I could get better at public speaking and get more involved in and outside of the classroom.
Community contract: In the past, the students I work with created a list of ideas on how to create the best classroom environment. If we are going to have fun and make the most of our time together, we should all decide what’s the best way to accomplish this goal. I ask, “What will it take to make this classroom a comfortable space?” Many students asked that only one person speak at a time or to encourage those who rarely speak to share. Some asked that everyone be positive and give constructive feedback to others. Most importantly, everyone agrees that respect is key to having the best classroom experience.