Listed below are proud alumni of the Cal Teach credential program who have begun their careers in science and math education.
As a child, Eric was the kid who made the best of every situation. “Both of my parents barely graduated high school,” he explains. “And my school was riddled with gangs, drugs, and violence. Teachers were uninspired and mostly taught out of the textbook.” Despite these challenges, Eric graduated high school as valedictorian and went on to UC Berkeley as a first-generation college student. His love for science field his path to a chemistry degree, one he knew he wanted to use to help others.
“Cal Teach gave me the opportunity to make an impact.”
Eric’s first field placement was in an urban Oakland school, an experience he described as tough and unpleasant at the beginning. As time went on however, the students warmed up to Eric and became inspired through his passion for the sciences. Eric credits his perseverance and motivation to the Cal Teach program. Today, he teaches science & engineering in San Francisco, California.
I come from a family of teachers - my mom teaches high school math, my dad teaches at the local JC, and my grandma taught high school French for many years. At the end of my sophomore year at Cal I saw a flyer outside of my classroom for the introductory Cal Teach course, which I was immediately interested in. While everyone around me was struggling to figure out what they wanted to do after college, I now had an easy answer to that question!
Cal Teach gave me a community of passionate and activist educators, and my student teaching cohort stays in touch to support each other. During my first teaching job in Oakland, my peers kept me inspired and passionate even when I felt unsupported and overwhelmed at school. I currently teach Integrated Science in Los Angeles with Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, and couldn't be happier with what my career has in store for me.
In my own high school experience, my physics teacher was far and away my favorite teacher. His passion and excitement helped cultivate a great sense of curiosity and excitement in science myself, and inspired me to study physics at Cal. After taking the Cal Teach class on teaching science in elementary school, I found that I really enjoyed the excitement of learning and discovery. Throughout the process, my Cal Teach colleagues helped support me in lesson planning, reflection, curriculum building, and critical thinking about learning and pedagogy. Without Cal Teach and its network of support, I am not sure I would have discovered how passionate I am about education.
Now, teaching high school physics in Oakland, I enjoy building relationships with students and encouraging them on to higher education, particularly in STEM. Sharing in the process of discovery and inquiry, it makes me so happy to be reaching kids and helping them achieve their own hopes of further studying science. When we're doing labs and projects, it's incredible to see that quick 'click' of something finally making sense as they work. One of my favorite phrases to hear has become, "Oh! So THAT's how that works!" I look forward to continuing to work with these young people in pursuing their educational goals.
More Cal Teach alumni coming soon!