Silvia Lewis, Everline Young, Miranda Lobert, Amanda Hans, Francisca Alvarez, Darryl Miles & Yolanda Fields are ready for teaching!
The 2007 graduates are an impressive group of educators. They have worked diligently over the past four and five years with a single vision: to give back to their communities through teaching. Each of them will bring understanding, equity and discovery to the classroom because each knows struggle intimately. They have overcome incredible obstacles to get their degrees; they juggled jobs, family obligations, personal crises and health issues while meeting the demands of school and Portland Teachers Program (PTP) to achieve this goal. They have all been victims of racism and low expectations; some have faced overwhelming poverty and all the closed doors that poverty brings with it. Some have had to learn a new language and culture while making sure not to lose their own. They are survivors, but more than that, they are teacher leaders who will demand excellence from every child while fostering the courage to question themselves, their students and the educational system. They have listened, they have learned, and they are ready to serve. Here are what some of them have to say as they embark on their careers:
"Even as a little girl, I dreamed of becoming a teacher, but it was only a dream because of the poverty I was born into. In school, I discovered that education can make a difference in a person’s life . . . I promised myself then that I would become an instrument of change. My mission as a future teacher is to make available an excellent education for all the children in my classroom. I will be a positive role model for my students and will demonstrate that if we have courage and purpose we can change our lives and the lives of others. By being part of the teaching profession, I will contribute my passion for teaching, my love for each student and my appreciation of diversity." Francisca Alvarez, Elementary
"I want to become a teacher so that I can give back to children the knowledge that I have learned, and to teach them about the history of my culture. Education is becoming so rigid that there is no space for children to learn how to love school. I want to make a difference in children’s lives by building relationships, and showing them that they have a voice in their own learning." Yolanda Fields, Elementary
"I think that being a teacher is perhaps, one of the most important jobs in the world because a teacher can impact so many lives at the same time. I believe that every child, regardless of race, socioeconomic status or gender has the right to a good education. In my classroom, I will promote an environment where all students feel safe and welcome, and where every student gets the attention he/she needs. I will hold all my students to the same expectations and I will be there to guide them along the way. A good teacher will inspire students to value education, giving them an opportunity to not only dream of a better life, but to become educated so they can have a better life." Silvia Lewis, Elementary
"I want to be a teacher because I want to invoke change. I want to give my students the confidence they need to be powerful people. Education is the only power we have. People should take it more seriously. I want my students to know they really can be anything they want to be, they just have to be patient and fight for it. Schools give up on students too easily; I believe all students want to learn."Miranda Lobert, Secondary, Language Arts
"The strongest factor in my decision to become a teacher is my desire to help, guide and prepare high school students to become productive members of society. I also decided to become a teacher after noticing the alarming disparity in cultural diversity between the student body and the teaching workforce. I want to make a difference for kids by using a multicultural curriculum that will broaden and open students’ minds to the rest of the world. I also intend to be an advocate for those students who can’t advocate for themselves." Darryl Miles, Secondary, Language Arts
"Children are my hope for a brighter future. It is my biggest desire to give children the courage to dream and a thirst for learning. I want to be an advocate to help them work out any difficulties they have. Teaching is important at all times. Whenever you have a chance to share, listen or help youth to discover more than what they knew before, you have taught them what a caring adult is. As a reflection of African American culture, I want to bring insight to the dominant culture so we can stop minority children being labeled special needs when they are not."Everline Young, Elementary