ALearn February 2017 Newsletter

To celebrate our 10 years, we're featuring stories of the remarkable individuals impacted by ALearn and who, by their accomplishments, have impacted ALearn as well.

ALearn fuels Edgar's passion for teaching

Edgar Chavarria devoted his high school years at Independence High School in San Jose pursuing music rather than academics. He received his B.A. in Biology from San José State University after transferring from San José City College and discovered another passion: becoming a teacher. As a teacher, he could help young people discover their potential, just like ALearn has helped him discover his.

2017 marks Edgar's third year as an ALearn teaching assistant (TA) but his first as a middle school TA. Although his goal is to teach high school, he jumped at the opportunity to work in Ocala Middle School's MAP+ after-school program.

As a first generation student, he's giving his students something he never had as a child.

"Both of my parents worked long hours at two jobs. It meant that I was on my own and also responsible for helping my younger brother and sister after school. I remember entering high school being shy and a bit scared of the older students. Kids go through a big transition during middle school as they start thinking about high school. During ALearn's MAP+ program, we talk about their interests and career goals, and I'm able to help my students be prepared for high school."

Student shares her growth mindset worksheet

Edgar is responsible for teaching MAP+'s growth mindset curriculum. What better way to teach perseverance than to share his own trials of applying for graduate school in education.

"The students were very attentive as I described my ups and downs. I knew they were relating my story to their transition into high school. It was very personal for me and for them. We really connected with each other."

It's no wonder that Edgar received ALearn's 2016 Outstanding Teaching Assistant.

Working along side ALearn's credentialed teachers, he's received key tips and suggestions that have improved his teaching skills. "After grad school, I want to teach biology or chemistry in East Side Union High School District. ALearn has been with me through my journey and has reinforced that teaching is the career for me."

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