My name is Devin O'Brien. This is my 2nd year of teaching. Last year I taught 5th grade English Language Arts and Humanities. I currently teach 8th grade English Language Arts at Kipp Scholar Academy in Los Angeles, California. This jump in age range has been interesting and has truly shown me the developmental capabilities and differences in critical thinking skills. 

On the Road to Teaching:

I was able to become a credentialed teacher through a program called Teach For America. Within this program, I have engaged in professional development and volunteer experiences beyond training experiences provided through my school site. Before joining Teach for America, I was part of a program called City Year. Within this program, I was able to work with 9th-grade students at a low-income school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I worked one on one and in small groups to provide social-emotional and academic intervention to 18 focus students. The strong relationships I fostered and my love of instilling a love of learning in my students encouraged me to become a teacher.  

Why Do I teach? (Need Multimedia Component) 

I teach because I believe in the power of young people. My mission as an educator is to create an environment in which my students and I learn from and with one another. I aim to foster lasting relationships and create life long learners. I believe that no matter their zip code, all students deserve access to an extortionary education. I try to make this possible by providing engaging, and rigorous lessons, leadership opportunities, and data-driven instruction within my classroom.

 I teach because I believe education and academics are capable of opening doors for students. Therefore, I work towards constantly improving my teaching practices and developing a stronger understanding of what skills and strategies I need to teach in order to provide the best possible instruction to my students.

As a teacher, I welcome feedback. One aspect of my job that I thoroughly enjoy is working with my co-teacher and coaches to problem solve and create strong lesson plans. I have found that my instruction is at its strongest when I am creating lessons that I am excited to teach. In turn, students typically respond to those lessons with higher levels of engagement because they know that the lessons were created with them in mind based on their needs and interests. 

  Most importantly, I teach because I want students to know that there is a caring adult out there who believes in them. Many of my students face challenges beyond the classroom that impact their motivation to learn. I work hard to seize any opportunity to highlight success and motivate students who struggle to believe in their own abilities. As an educator, I feel that it is so important to teach the "whole child." I do believe that academic success is important, however, I also work hard to teach other life skills beyond academics. I want my students to leave my classroom recognizing their talents, persevering through difficult situations, and communicating their needs in an efficient manner.