Master of Arts in Teaching from Michigan State University (2018), Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Michigan State University (2014), North Allegheny High School (2010)
My teachers throughout middle and high school were some of my biggest inspirations for becoming a teacher. While I had a lot of good teachers, Mr. Datillo (7th grade social studies), Mr. Stefan and Mr. Baldanzi (high school band), and Mrs. Volpe (11th-12th grade calculus) stick out as prime examples of the teachers that inspired me to become a teacher myself. They made their subjects come alive in amazing ways, and I’m sure it’s no coincidence that history/social studies, music, and math are three of my favorite things now.
Another inspiration in my journey to becoming an educator were my experiences teaching marching band camps while in college. These were my first real teaching experiences, and from the first moment of teaching, it felt right and I knew that my plan of becoming a teacher was right.
I am a High School math teacher
In a sentence, the difference I get to make in my students’ lives. What I get to do for my students, the way I help them think logically and mathematically and find success with math, and the way I can be a source of support and kindness when they really need it are all super important for their futures. The fact that I get to make those differences for my students day in and day out keeps me going on the toughest teaching days.
I teach in a predominantly black school, so I see (or hear) first-hand many of the injustices and inequalities my students experience in their daily lives. I have overheard my students telling each other stories about being profiled in their lives (at stores, in public, etc.) and in interactions with police. These are the same stories that we hear way too often in public discourse, and they are even more heartbreaking when they’re your own students. In addition to what my students have to face in their everyday lives, my students often have not had success in their previous schools nor have they had teachers that have fought for them. This is very different from what I experienced in my own high school. I had many teachers that fought for my education and that have made a huge difference in my successes since then. I recognize this privilege. Because of this, I strive to meet my students where they are at and treat each of them as equitably as possible and, most importantly, treat them as people. Many times, I am among the first to treat them with this kind of care and respect, and it’s a good step towards raising them up towards justice. All students should be treated with respect and love.
I hope for a world where we all care for each other, regardless of what we look like, where we come from, who we love, what we believe in, or any of the other things that currently divide us.