Teaching Assistant Edgar Chavarria

TA Experience Creates the Teacher Pipeline

  • 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.

    Edgar Chavarria,

A graduate of Independence High School in San Jose, Edgar Chavarria devoted his high school years pursuing music rather than academics. He transferred to San José State University 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. This is 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. “I’m amazed with the empathy this class has with each other. It is really special.“ 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.” Edgar is responsible for teaching MAP+’s positive 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.”