When I am not teaching my scholars I am spending time with my family. I am married and have two wonderful childen. I enjoy gardening (especially feeding my family fresh veggies from the garden) and being active whether it's at the gym or park with my babies. When I really have free time, I like to cozy up with an adventure or mystery book and read for hours.
I began my journey of higher education at Mount San Antonio Junior College where I studied liberal arts. From there I obtained my Bachelor's of Arts in Gender, Ethnic, Multicultural Studies with an emphasis in Education and Chicano/ Latino Studies from Cal Poly Pomona. This major is important to me because it emphasizes the diversity within American culture and my desire to celebrate individualality within the classroom. After graduating from Cal Poly, I entered the Teacher Education program at Claremont Graduate University where I earned a Masters in Education. One day I plan on continuing my education in the form of another Masters degree or a Doctorate however; for the time being, I love focusing on my scholars and growing and learning from and with them.
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At the beginning of the school year I noticeda need to intergrate more activities which engaged my scholars on a higher level. Additionally, I was looking to provide my scholars more opportunities to "digest" the information I was serving. As I progressed through the year I was sure to utilize whiteboards as ways for my scholars to practiced thier newly learned skill. I found that white boards are great resources for allowing scholars to display and use their knowledge becaused they provide room for mistake and immediate correction. Another strategy I used to ensure scholars stayed engaged and allowed me to check for understanding was computer based games on Kahoot! The scholars really love this because it's competitive and they get to use technology. Last but not least, incorporation of centers played a large role in giving scholars time to build upon the standards. During centers scholars worked with me to clarify lessons, they engaged in review activities, and utilized technology; all of which positively impacted learning.
As I continue to develop as an educator, an area of interest and a degree I plan on persuing is Psychology. It has always been an interesting field of study to me. I believe it will help me gain understanding of my scholars and families in a manner which will also enable me to better serve the population. Over my years of teaching, I have encountered various scholars who have undergone some trauma and it is part of my passion to not only be present for my scholars but to also have compassion and tools to be the best teacher I can for them. I feel as though studing psychology will guide me through this process. For me, the beginning of this journey will happen by rereading some of my psychology books from my undergraduate studies. From there, I will research the components of psychology and determine the route I would like to take. It will be a long journey however; I believe I can accomplish it within 6 years. I will assess my progress not only through completion of classes but also through satisfaction of my career and the impact I believe I am having on the community I serve. Perhaps a before and after school year survey will help me.
I have always also been interested in blogging. Blogging is a way to stay connected with my professional community all the while contributing to it. I believe the more I grow and learn, the more I can contribute to my profession.
Having high goals and expectations of myself and my scholars can sometimes be overwhelming. In order to help myself maintian passion and excitement for teaching and my goals, I am going to continue to exercise on a regular basis (a goal I was able to accomplish this year) and I am going to begin keeping a reflective journal which will include poetry. I always tell my scholars to write or draw about their feelings and what's on their minds as a way to cope and aliviate negativity but; somehow have lost the art in doing so myself. Next school year, at the end of each day (this may change depending on my schedule), I would love to journal with my scholars for at least 15 minutes. This will give us all a time to reflect and create goals.
"Ms. Vega is developing professionally at a quick rate. Her concern for her students' ongoing growth is genuine, and they are benefitting from her hard work and determination."
--Sue Kroeger. BTSA Reflective Coach
For any teachers entering the profession: Remember why you have chosen this field. Create a visual to remind you and post it up where you can see. There will be days where you literally ask yourself, "What am I doing here?" At that moment, you can take a deep breath, look at your visual, and regain your sanity. Always keep your mission on mind and try your best to maintain a good balance of home and work.