Maritza Vasquez, a teacher at the Academy for Language and Technology in the Bronx, sees a lot of herself in her 9th-grade immigrant students. She said she’s able to relate “to everything they are feeling” because at one time she felt the same way. “I tell them I was a newcomer myself.”
Tara Jarvis traverses New York City wearing a huge grin. “People smile back at me and that’s when I realize I’m smiling,” says Jarvis, a first-year art teacher of students with special needs at District 75’s Brooklyn Transition Center. After a challenging childhood and a heart-wrenching 2017, Jarvis is living her dreams.
It’s all about “kids having access to experiences, whether I do it through being a teacher or being a program director at a museum or being a Girl Scout leader,” says Leslie Martinez, who is starting her third year as a teacher at Manhattan’s Humanities Prep Academy.
Michael Oeckel, a first-year high school math teacher, employs exaggerated hand motions and expressions and gets students out of their seats to illustrate math concepts to his students who don't speak English.