What projects and new ideas are exciting you personally, academically?
I currently teach Anatomy & Physiology, Computer Science and Physics to Juniors and Seniors at The Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management. I also run the Black Lives Matter Alliance and the Cooking Club at the school, host Latino Cultural Celebrations and Black History Month Celebrations, and I am the fundraiser chair for the Senior Committee.
Outside of the classroom, I helped found an organization called Teaching While Muslim, which is a platform for Muslim educators to find support in fighting injustices within classrooms and the education system. I run the social media portion and hosted a workshop this past summer at Stanford.
I’m also a Hollyhock Fellow, where a team of 4 teachers from my school were flown out to Stanford for 2 weeks and attending professional development workshops. I’ve been so excited to implement new strategies and a new attitude towards education as a result of this program. I’ll be heading back there next summer for part 2!
Lastly, I am officially an Aunt of 3 as of 11/8/18!!!!
Have you been keeping in touch with your Bezos Scholar alumni, and if so — how?
I have a few alumni on social media. Nick Okafor is my spirit animal :)
Which influential books, albums, podcasts, or films would you personally recommend to the BSP community of curious minds?
Book: The New Jim Crow-> always and forever will be my favorite book. Stay Woke.
Film: Moana -> I was forced to watch this 3 times in a week by my niece and I absolutely love that there is a Disney princess like Moana. Strong, independent, fearless. Exactly, how I want my little Queen to grow up to be. It’s such a great movie to watch if you need inspiration with an AMAZING message!!
Who or what are you finding inspiration in right now?
My students! I have something called Words of Inspiration after the Do-Now/Warm-Up, where I put up a quote from an artist, activist, musician, scientist, etc. I give my students the opportunity to discuss the quote fully and interact with their peers in a different setting. They turn my classroom into a safe space for everybody and I’m so glad this tradition is still alive today!
Anything else you want to share with the BSP community?
Talk to the youth. Listen to them. If they need to vent, let them vent, and don’t say that you understand unless you actually do. Don’t pity them either, just listen. They need us more than anything these days.