6 Word Memoir
I have been a teacher in NYC for the past 6 years. Immediately following college, I began training to be a full time teacher through the NYC Teaching Fellows program. Within a month of graduation from the University of Colorado, I was back in a classroom at Hunter College working towards my master’s degree in education. My first year in the city I worked at Roberto Clemente Intermediary School teaching 8th grade. As that school closed down, I moved to Bronx Leadership Academy II where I taught grades 10-12 for five years. Next year I will be moving to Queens Metropolitan High School where I will continue to teach English in grades 9-12. Over the last year I have also become involved in the NYC Writing Project, participating in workshops, seminars and the Youth Voices summer writing program.
Leading up to my senior year of high school, my peers became fixated on the idea of college. Students were registering for more AP courses, attending SAT prep classes and camping out in the guidance suite perusing dense books of colleges and analyzing their chances of getting in to different schools. I already knew I wanted to study English. I had always been a voracious reader and enjoyed writing so much that I often spent free periods in the library peer editing my friends’ essays. While my guidance counselor encouraged me to consider many small liberal arts colleges on the east coast, I had already made up my mind. I wanted to get far, far away from home and had set my sights on the University of Colorado in Boulder. On the second day of my senior year I marched into the guidance office with my printed application marked with sticky notes indicating the places that required information and supplemental materials from the school. My guidance counselor told me to come back in two weeks as she wasn’t prepared to begin college applications yet. Two weeks later I returned and by October 3rd of my senior year I was accepted into the only school I ever applied to. This story tells a lot about me. Mostly, this reveals how strong-willed I am (I am a Taurus after all) and how motivated I am to fulfill my ambitions. I am happy I stayed true to my plan as I probably would not have become a teacher without the experiences I had at CU and one particularly special college advisor.
This story also reveals another defining aspect of my personality, which is my wanderlust. One of the most appealing aspects of Colorado to me was that the lifestyle was completely different than the one I was accustomed to growing up in the tri-state area. This made me want to see what life was like in other parts of the world. During college I spent a semester in Paris, France and learned to travel and explore on my own (and on a budget!) Being a teacher has provided me with the time to explore many different countries. I’ve set a goal to completely fill every page of my passport before it expires; I only have one page left and still two more years to meet my goal! Traveling has become important to me because through traveling I have experienced dozens of cultures and met people with varying perspectives. These experiences have taught me empathy and helped me become a well-rounded person. Incidentally, this is also why I enjoy literature and reading a variety of authors and texts. I believe that the more exposure we have to different schools of thought, the more tolerant we will be of each other. I hope that as a teacher I can help share this ideology and consequently teach my students to seek understanding and appreciation of the different people around them.