As I was growing up, my favorite way to pass the time was to play “school” with my cousins and the neighborhood kids during our summer break. I was always the teacher, of course! I set up the schoolhouse in the backyard and I loved teaching them the Math, Reading, and Religion Lessons that I was taught during that current school year. I especially liked using my pen that would extend out into a pointer. My grandparents enjoyed watching us play “school” so much that they bought me a black board and chalk for my lessons. At night, I would plan these lessons in my own way to be ready for the next day of teaching. The other kids would ask when was it their turn to teach. I would reply by saying that I was the oldest and for that reason I knew the most! I would eventually let someone else try, but the other kids said they liked me the best as the teacher.
I attended St. Mary's Elementary School (1st-8th grade) and Sacred Heart of Jesus High School (9th-12th grade). As I grew up I always had my sights set on going to college to become a teacher. My undergraduate and graduate studies were at the California State University of Los Angeles, which is where I obtained a Bachelors and Masters in Education. I love teaching everyday and I can honestly say I love getting up everyday to go to work! When the children arrive at school each day, with a smile and ready to learn, it makes my each and every day worthwhile because I love their enthusiasm for learning. I feel a tremendous sense of joy when my students are able to understand something they initially find difficult after asking questions. The joy in their eyes when they finally understand is the kind of teaching moment that I live for. These are the things that make me feel like I’m impacting these children lives and help me remember I’m educating our future generations in a way that can help them make an impact in the world.
I've always questioned and wondered about my path in life- did I make the right choices? Am I supposed to be where I am today? I'm a dreamer just like my mom. We have the 'grass is always greener' syndrome. Sometimes, I wish I hadn't given up dancing. I miss it and could've gone far if I would've stuck with it. So what led me into teaching? I had just graduated high school and was off to PCC. Like many others, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do as a career. However, I knew that I wanted to help people in some way and so I pursued psychology. I've always gotten along well with all types of people and consider myself to be a good listener. I'm not really sure what changed my mind about psychology, but after three years, I then decided to explore the medical field. Wow, those classes were difficult! They challenged me academically to a whole new level. For some reason though, I did really well in physiology and anatomy. I organized and led several study groups. And when it came time to dissect a cat and memorize every single part of its body, I was able to help some of my classmates who were struggling. They were so grateful and felt much more confident about the class. That's when a lightbulb went off....why don't I become a teacher?!
Well, the rest is history. I've been teaching now for almost 18 years. It's hard to believe all of the children that I've gotten to know and see grow up. So many different personalities that come with their own strengths and weaknesses. So many frustrations and rewards along the way. It's even more exciting and surreal to see them later on as young adults- and they remember you or something that you did in the classroom. I'm far from being the perfect teacher, but hopefully I've made a difference in some of their lives and helped to prepare them for the future.
Ars longa, vita brevis - The art so long, the life so short to live.
These are the passions that are constant in my life: learning, music, the architecture of childhood, education, literature, and art. I’ve always loved school and took pride in my work, whether it was writing or math. I’ve always embraced the opportunity to learn, no matter how pointless a subject may seem. I’ve always believed that knowledge is pure access to the world. And though I may not live long enough to know all things, the pursuit itself is what is most fruitful.
During my senior year of high school, I was in a class centered on social justice issues. We read excerpts of Jonathan Kozol’s The Shame of the Nation, and my perspective on education was forever changed. I was deeply troubled by the fact that here I was, sitting in a beautiful classroom learning about the injustices in our world while others in the same country went to school without running water or toilet paper and mice running across their feet during their math lessons. A sudden passion was within me, and I knew that if I would not be a singer, I would become an educator. I would ensure to pursue initiatives that protect children and make certain that each child is given their right to a safe and well-rounded education.
People often ask me, “Did you always want to be a teacher?” And I often reply, “No. Not at all actually.” On the contrary, I wished to be a singer and actress few years ago. But after realizing a theatre degree wasn’t quite for me, LMU’s School of Education fell into my lap. Four years later, I find myself exactly where I want to be: at a beautiful school with a wonderful community, gracious leadership and staff, and excited students. I, as a teacher and human being, cannot wait to share my love for learning with you all.