Coming Full Circle, The Reason I Chose To Teach At My High School

When I was a junior in high school, I received a call from my AP U.S. History teacher right before summer, letting me know that I had earned a perfect 5 on the exam, the first perfect score in our school’s history. At the time, I was also pregnant and expecting to give birth to my daughter, Alyssa, right before entering my senior year. This accomplishment, in the midst of a great struggle, encapsulated my educational trajectory and was a defining moment in my decision to become a teacher myself.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have educators impact my life in ways words cannot describe. I’ve had teachers throughout my life that have served as parents, mentors, counselors and strong role models. My teachers have always played a very important role in my life and this Teacher Appreciation Week, I want to thank them for inspiring me to make the decision to enter the classroom as a teacher at my high school, LPS Richmond.

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I want to take the time to reflect on my first year of teaching. Without a doubt, the first year of teaching is the hardest to overcome and if you ask any educator, I’m sure they would agree. With the end of the year upon us, it’s important that we reflect on the inspiration and purpose behind our decision to enter the classroom and serve the students that we do every single day.

As a student sitting in the same seats my own students now fill, I thought my teachers were perfect humans who had it entirely together. From many conversations with the same teachers in my adult life, I know that conception wasn’t entirely accurate. My teachers were stressed, overwhelmed, both feelings I have experienced constantly throughout my first year of teaching. However, my teachers were also holding us to the highest of expectations and providing the accurate supports to ensure our academic success, which I also try to replicate with my students every single day in the classroom.

This Teacher Appreciation Week, I want to thank the educators in my life that instilled the confidence necessary to fill the role that I currently have. Without the impact of my teachers, I wouldn’t have exemplars of what strong teaching is. My teachers taught from the heart and managed to show us the respect and love we needed as young children and teenagers. All of these traits are attributes I now attempt to follow as I continue my career in the classroom.

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Daniela Felix

Daniela Felix

Daniela is a first generation college student who is heavily involved in education in her home district, West Contra Costa Unified. After becoming a mother at a young age, Daniela’s passion for education justice only intensified and she began to fight for an equitable education for all children, regardless of background or zip code. Daniela played a key role in organizing parents with the California Charter Schools Association and is a firm believer in school choice for all families. She is currently a Lead Organizer with Students for Education Reform, organizing college students around education justice issues in her home district. She was recently accepted into Teach for America and plans to continue impacting the lives of children in her hometown of Richmond, CA as a high school social studies teacher. Daniela is a UC Berkeley senior pursuing her B.A. in Legal Studies and Education along with her 4 year old daughter and husband. Daniela is a firm believer in that every single child is capable of meeting high expectations if given the correct support. Daniela hopes to be a provider of that support.

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