This is one in a series of Q&A’s with teachers new to Denair Unified in 2019-20
Family: I grew up with my mom, step-dad, and older brother
School: Denair High School
Subject taught: Biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology
Experience and education: One year of student teaching. Biology degree from California State University, Monterey Bay.
What attracted you to Denair? I was attracted to Denair because it was close to my home, Merced, and it seemed to have a very close-knit community. I love my family and am looking forward to meeting all of my Denair family as well.
Why most inspires you about teaching? I have had many amazing teachers in my life who have pushed me to do well and taught me amazing lessons about both life and subject matter. I strive to be a positive safe space for students where they feel comfortable exploring the world and learning all they can about life and science.
What is a challenge you look forward to tackling this year? This is my first year teaching on my own in a classroom; that, in itself, is the most exciting challenge of my year. I will be excited to learn and grow from this experience. You can only have one first year!
What is your favorite teaching tool or activity? My favorite activity in science has to be labs. Labs are the true essence of science where you can explore the content and work with materials to help it stick in your brain. Sience is all about trial and error.
What do you want your students to remember? I want my students to know it’s OK to make mistakes and it’s OK to not have everything figured out. School is a safe place to learn from your mistakes and grow from them. Teachers are there to guide you and help you learn while you help them learn. Everyone is learning things their whole life, so it’s OK to be figuring everything out.
How can parents support what you do? Parents can just do their best at taking an interest in what their child is learning in school. Having students talk about material outside of school is a great way for them to retain more information, almost like a quick informal study session! As long as you support your child in every way you can, it will be a great year. As parents, you are free to ask me any questions you have about me or your student; I will help in any way I can. I like open communication and collaboration.
What would surprise people about your job? Since it’s my first year, I’m sure I’m going to find many things that surprise even me about my job, but I think a lot of people don’t realize how much time setting up a lab takes and how much supplies you find out you need when you go to do the lab. Labs are the best part of science, but they are also the hardest thing, as a teacher, to set up and run. You want to make sure every student is both having fun and safe, while also trying to fit it into a 50-minute period.What do you do for fun? In my free time, I love to play video games, watch shows, swim, go to the beach and listen to music.