Culture + Diversity in Education: A Reflection

Here is a little blog post I created for my TEL 111 course on culture and diversity in Education. Click here for my references.

Continue reading “Culture + Diversity in Education: A Reflection”


Voting 101: Choose Your Fighters

Maybe you’ve been slacking on keeping up with the news. Maybe you’re conflicted about who you really trust in this election. Or maybe you’re like me, and thought you’d be voting in a different state, only to have that change at the last minute, and now you’ve got to play catch-up!

No matter what your situation is, voting can be stressful, and if you know anything about me and stress, we don’t get along. I was scrolling through Facebook this evening, just minding my own business and putting off being an active, engaged citizen, when I stumbled upon a post my friend Francesca made. She was encouraging people to check out this website that would give information on their local candidates, no matter where they were located in the United States.

Obviously, I got excited and checked it out. It was an amazing, easy to use site, that gave you information on all of your candidates, including direct quotes on specific issues, as well as their resume, so to speak. This resource is so valuable, and I encourage you all to check it out immediately.

Here is the link to the website, BallotReady.

On the site, you simply have to enter your address so it knows what district you’re in, and all of your candidates will pop up on your screen. Simply click each one to learn more about how they stand and have voted on issues you are about. Once you decide on the candidate you like the best, you can save them to your ballot (this isn’t an actual vote, but it will email you your “ballot” that you can then reference on voting day).

After you email yourself your completed “ballot,” you can choose a time to head to your polling place, which by the way, is also given to you when you enter your address! It can give you directions there and even create a calendar event that will text/email you to remind you on the day of.

I’m excited about this website because it also gives information regarding what you need to bring on the day of so that you can make sure you’re able to vote. For someone who has never voted in person before (only by absentee ballot!), I had no idea what my state required. Now, I do! Wow! Look at that!

If you’re in Pennsylvania like me, you can also take a look at this handy guideto read exactly what will go down on November 6th. And if you’re not in PA, here’s another resource you can use to check things like eligibility, if you’re registered, and more, all in your state of residence (or rather, where you’re registered to vote).

And that’s that. I hope to see many of my local friends at the polls, and can’t wait to hear about everyone else’s polling experience.

Also, if someone is making you uncomfortable at the polls, please report it. Here is a link from ACLU that clearly states what your rights are, and what voter intimidation is.

Here is a little excerpt on what to do if someone tries to turn you away at the polls:

Always ask the pollworker to double check to whether you are not on the regular list of registered voters. If you are not, then ask if there is a supplemental list of voters (sometimes, voters who register closer to Election Day are processed after the pollbooks are printed, and then subsequently placed on a supplemental list of registered voters). You may also request that they check a statewide system, if one is available, to see if you are registered to vote at a different polling place.

If they still cannot find you, ask for a provisional ballot.  All voters are entitled to a provisional ballot, even if you are not in the pollbook. After Election Days, election officials must investigate whether you are qualified to vote and registered; and if so, they must count your provisional ballot.

And another excerpt on if your qualifications are challenged (if someone questions if you are eligible to vote):

Laws vary from state to state. In many states, if your qualifications to vote are challenged, you can give a sworn statement to the pollworker that you satisfy the qualifications to vote in your state, and then proceed to cast a regular ballot.

As you can see, there’s a lot of information to take in in regards to voting. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be a scary thing. Set aside a few minutes (or more!) of your time to prepare yourself for voting on November 6th, and find out what you need to do and bring in order to cast your vote.

You’ve got this!

Still questioning if you’re going to vote or not? Read this article, this article, this article, and this article. Oh, and here’s another one on why young voters matter

Still not convinced? Read these tweets to see why others are choosing to vote. More tweets here. 


“Great teachers become great.” -Mary Kooy

Below lies a blog post I wrote for my education course this term. I found it to be a thought-provoking assignment, and am curious what others think.

What do you think are important characteristics/traits of educators and why?
Empathy is an important trait that educators should have. Encompassed in empathy is genuine care and warmth, and I firmly believe that all educators need to possess this. This is something that can be learned, but that some people inherently have. Empathy is a skill that pushes an educator to see the student in the back of the room struggling to maintain his focus, because maybe lecturing is not how he best learns. It is what causes them to reach out to the student and say, “How can I make this material manageable for you? What can I change about my teaching to be more relatable for you?”

In relation to empathy, I believe educators are malleable, and able to bend to meet the needs of the student. They understand that there are different types of learners and that not everyone will succeed in the same way. In fact, success may look extremely different for learner A than for learner B. Educators recognize this and are able to congratulate and encourage learners to continue their work in the way that best suits them, while providing a platform for help and resources for those who need it. Educators understand that the real success is in the journey of learning, rather than the outcome on the exam.

What do you think are important types of skills/abilities/talents educators possess and why?

As stated above, malleability, or flexibility, is a key ability that educators have in their toolbox. They reach out to the students who are goofing off in class and recognize that whatever they are doing is not enough to capture their attention, so they need to find a way to be more interesting than the gossip. This may mean digging up new material, or rethinking old material. Either way, the educator should be able to meet the needs of the students by engaging their senses and finding ways for the process of learning to be better entertainment than the drama.

I also think that educators hold the ability to lighten any topic. Say a student fails an exam and is feeling down about it. The educator, rather than scolding the student, should look at them and say, “What can I do better? How can I help you get the results you want?” Again, this is where the flexibility comes in- results look different for every individual. Some students want to see an A+ on their exam. Others want to raise their grade a few percentage points. And some may benefit more from writing an essay about their learning rather than taking a multiple choice test.

Are there any important rewards of being an educator?

Definitely, and I believe my experience tutoring and mentoring freshman in high school have shown me those rewards. I firmly feel that service, which is truly what being an educator is, is the most enlightening way to find your own true potential. Students challenge you. They say, “Miss, why do I have to learn this? Miss, I don’t wanna do this right now.” It is your role to challenge them back.

Walking into a classroom everyday should inspire you to learn just as much as the students will that day, if not more. Seeing your students should brighten your day, and I have found that for me, it does. Watching my students go from not understanding how to solve an expression to completing it the next day with ease in the new way I taught them is completely indescribable. I take zero credit for their success- it is their dedication to learning and asking questions that gets them to where they are today. That is the most rewarding thing.

What knowledge is necessary to be an educator and why?
To be an educator is to be a learner for life. You are always changing, evolving your course to meet the needs of today’s world. Everyday there are new innovations and discoveries in every field imaginable. Therefore, to be an educator, you must first be an ever-eager learner.

You should be a master of your craft, if you can be. It is essential to be challenged by the students. They should strive to pass you in knowledge- you must not let them, but let them think they can. You should know how to keep them vigorous, even when the stakes seem low.

Lastly, to be an educator you must believe in the individual. You must understand the complexities of the mind, and imagine what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes for a not just a day, but a lifetime. You must know your students. Of course this takes time- but an educator hits the ground running. To expect students to be vulnerable, you must be vulnerable yourself. An educator finds a way to incorporate the lives on their students into their work.

What are your thoughts? What are the qualities of a great teacher?

Bomber Dedication

On Wednesday, City Year held its Opening Day for the FY19. I am so honored and excited to be a part of this outstanding organization, and wanted to take a moment to reflect on a ceremony we had before the event.

This ceremony was called the Bomber [Jacket] Dedication. In this ceremony, we were able to specify a person or persons we wanted to dedicate our service year to.

After we decided who we would be choosing, we spoke out about who we chose and why.

I chose to dedicate my Bomber to the students whose first language is not English, because I have seen the barriers they face in high school, and I truly believe that language should not be a barrier in receiving a comprehensive, challenging, and fulfilling education.

I look forward to this year of service, and am inspired everyday by my teammates and the students we serve.

tu corazón y mi

Durante veces cómo está, cuando el sol es roso y el cielo es morado, yo sé que te amo. Los colores del día…cambian, pero mi amor para ti no. Es fuerte y para muchos años.

Cada tiempo hay una diferencia en los colores, yo sé dónde puedo escogerte. Estás en mi corazón, segura y feliz.

Eres el sol de mi vida. Mi luz. Mi fuente de felicidad.

Creo que su amor puede tocar mi corazón como un violín y crea un sinfonía bellísima.

1.5 year anniversary

Mi media naranja. Eres la dulce de mi vida. Gracias por 1.5 años contigo.

A muchas más.

my cutie
Just like the first date

la carta de opinión: “una propuesta que busca mejorar los niveles de lectoescritura”

Recentemente, yo leí un artículo se llama “Una propuesta que busca mejorar los niveles de lectoescritura” en la Red. Tu artículo dice que el programa “Aprendo leyendo” sólo llega estudiantes en escuelas privadas. En mi opinión, esto no es bastante para otros estudiantes. Hay mucha gente que se puede beneficiar del programa, como los desfavorecidos en países en todo el mundo.

Si crees el programa trabajaré, debes mostrarnos y distribuir tu programa a más estudiantes. No sólo es beneficial para su estudio del programa, pero también aumentar los estudiantes que pueden tener éxito a causa de este programa. Por supuesto, es importante a probar las aguas cuando explorando un área nuevo. Pero cuando hay beneficios para todos los estudiantes, es mejorar a compartir la riqueza de conocimientos.

Por ejemplo, hay un problema en nuestras escuelas de los Estados Unidos. Casi todas las escuelas enseñan en inglés. Pero los Estados Unidos no tienen una idioma oficial. ¿Por qué nuestros estudiantes tienen aprender en inglés? Es absoluto en algunas escuelas, y las requieren inglés.

Desafortunadamente, en ese mundo, no es posible a enseñar español a todos los estudiantes. Por eso, primero, los estudiantes que hablan español necesitan aprender los básicos de un idioma nuevo (inglés) tener éxito.

Eso programa puede cambiar como nuestras escuelas enseñan inglés (o español) a sus estudiantes de cada nivel. Y, si es la verdad, ¿por qué no es funcionando en los Estados Unidos? Creo este programa tiene muchas posibilidades, como presentando a nuevos idiomas a nuestros niños de una edad joven.

Ser bilingüe es una característica deseado en los Estados Unidos.. Podemos buscar las fuerzas en los estudiantes (como un idioma diferente) y usarlas a cambiar el mundo. Este programa es el secreto para tener éxito en todos los estudiantes.

Porque le da miedo.

Quiero empezar con un pasaje de “La casa en Mango Street” de Sandra Cisneros. El pasaje empieza en página xxiii.

“Al final de la velada, ella se encuentra buscando un aventón a casa. Ella llegó en autobús y el Emperador se ofrece a llevar a casa. Pero no va para su casa. está ilusionada con ir a ver una película que sólo van a dar esa noche. Le da miedo ir sola al cine, y por eso ha decidido ir. Precisamente porque la da miedo“.

Creo que el pasaje está escrito con mágico. Precisamente porque la da miedo. Y yo pregunto, ¿Qué si todos preguntaba esa? Podríamos hacer muchas cosas que no hemos hacer antes.

Un ejemplo. Quiero ser bilingüe algún día. No estoy allí ya, pero estoy practicando cada día, mientras tengo miedo. Necesito más confianza en si misma, y creo que por esta pasaje, yo puedo obtenerla.

Es una fuente de inspiración para mi y ya escribirlo en mi espejo del baño. También, en mi horario y mis escritorios.  Uso ambos cada día, por eso es un recuerdo para mi a ser segura cuando yo tengo miedo de algo.

Como Nike dice, “Just do it”. Es posible a tener éxito. Quiero compartir esta idea porque es una lección muy valiosa. Podemos aprender del pasaje de Cisneros. ¿Qué crees? Por favor, comparte conmigo.

Una pregunta para los estudiantes de español. ¿Como prácticas el idioma?

Para mi, escribo en mis escritores en español. También, escucho a podcasts en español. Si alguien tiene un podcast, por favor comparte conmigo. Mio es un poco lente – es de Duolingo, jaja. Necesito algo nuevo. ¿Ayudame?

Un ingrediente esencial de jumbalaya: la salchicha

Hola, amigos viejos y nuevos.

Bienvenidos al primer blog para mi clase de español. Mi clase es de conversación y composición, por eso ojála que mis habilidades sean aceptables. Hace aproximadamente tres o cuatro años desde he tomado español, y no he utilizado nada. Estoy lista a practicar otra vez y mejorar mi gramática y amplio mi vocabulario.

Mi primer blog será sobre un ingrediente cerca de mi corazón y es parte de una especialidad de mi novia. Ella siempre cocinaba esta cuando yo estoy triste o cuando yo estoy, como dicen en inglés, “hangry”. La especialidad es…. ¡JUMBALAYA! Mmm.

Un ingrediente esencial de jumbalaya es la salchicha. La carne es de un cerdo, y cuando es asada, pues, es deliciosa. Debe ser el color marrón dorado cuando se hace. El jugo de la carne es sabroso pero aceitoso.

A veces, mi novia usa el chile rojo a aumentar el picante de la especialidad. Cuando ella cocina con el chile y la salchicha, es la gastronomía con un sabor único, como una fiesta en su boca. Este es fantástico si te gusta picar sus papilas gustativas. No me gusta, pero si te gusta… está bien.

Después de comes jumbalaya, tienes una sensación asombrosa. Estás llenísimo (muy, muy lleno). También, estás feliz.

Gracias por leyendo mi primer blog sobre mi tema favorita – comida, específicamente, las salchichas.

Buen día, y hasta luego.





breathe & be

Today I was writing in my journal about my anxieties- you know, the usual. I was writing about how I’m nervous for City Year, for living in a new city, for meeting new people…. but as I wrote more and more, I realized that my anxieties were surrounded by things that haven’t even happened yet.

I was spending so much time focusing on my fears that I was missing the amazingness that is San Antonio and my new home and being alone.

And so, I decided that my motto for the next 11 months (my City Year term length), I will be focusing on the phrase “breathe & be.”

Breathe & be.

To me, this phrase means taking in my surroundings and being truly present with them. Feeling the paper I’m writing on. Tasting the fresh berries I’m enjoying. Soaking in the rays of sun beating on my shoulders. Listening fully to the person in front of me.

Writing about what I’ll do after City Year made me realize that I haven’t even begun to think of the possibilities I will encounter during City Year.

It’s time to refocus. These next 11 months will be about the present. When it is time to worry about the future, I will change gears. But for now, I’m going to do my best to enjoy the city and its people and all they have to offer me.

Breathe & be. Breathe & be. Breathe & be.

ithaca -> san antonio

Hello world.

I know you haven’t heard from me in awhile, but that’s because I have been so busy wrapping up my time here in Ithaca. You heard it here first- I’m MOVING!

I’ll be headed out to San Antonio on Sunday, July 22nd. It’s the start of a new chapter for me, and I’m eager to get there. Felix the Cat and I will be flying out of Buffalo and meeting Terri’s parents in Austin, TX.

The reason I’m leaving so soon is because I’ve accepted a job with City Year San Antonio through Americorps. I’ve never been so excited to start a new position. I truly feel like I’ll be able to make a difference, mentoring these children, and I cannot wait to get going.

On Tuesday, I have registration, and on the following Monday, training begins.

Learn more about what I’ll be doing in San Antonio for the next 11 months here.