A Day in the Life of a BTH Teacher:
Summer 2018 Teacher Blogs

Week Seven – Nikita Dias, Returning BTH Teacher

A Summer Worth Celebrating

I’m still in denial that my second summer at Breakthrough Houston has come and gone in the blink of an eye. As a returner to this program, I can honestly say that the past year I’ve associated myself with Breakthrough has been the absolute best year of my life. Breakthrough has given me my future bridesmaids, solidified my urge to be a teacher, and even put me in touch with my future employer, Teach for America. One of my favorite days of the Breakthrough summer is the last day. A Breakthrough day usually starts with students walking through a breakfast bridge filled with teachers chanting everything on the breakfast menu that day. On the last day, however, the roles are reversed and students are the ones making a bridge for their teachers to walk through. The day started off emotional, but I told myself I wasn’t going to cry…at least not at 8:00am when I knew I’d have 15 more hours with my kids.  

On the evening of the last day of school, we have Celebration. Celebration is a showcase night where Breakthrough students spotlight things they have been working on in their electives and activities. Students perform original plays, recite spoken word poems, play new instruments, dance and sing. Celebration is a night to come together to celebrate the students and congratulate them on another Breakthrough summer in the books. The past two summers, I’ve had the honor of being one of the choir teachers for Breakthrough Houston. I’ve been involved with choir for most of my life, and I’ve always viewed singing as one of my favorite hobbies. Some of my fondest moments these past two summers have been winding down with my choir students after a long day of academic classes and singing Disney show tunes.

This year, my choir kids sang “Cups” from Pitch Perfect and “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman. Both songs were fitting not only for my 9th graders’ last goodbyes to Breakthrough but for mine as well. I sat in the front row for their performance, mouthing the words. Whenever my kids were nervous, they knew to look at me for support. After their act, two of my girls gave me the biggest hug and said that they wouldn’t have been able to get through the show had they not had me in the front row, singing along. I’m going to miss being a show-mom to my Breakthrough students, but it only makes me more optimistic about the future and how many band and choir concerts I’ll be conducting or singing along with for years to come.

Each year on Celebration night, it is tradition that teachers honor one ninth grade girl and boy with the titles of “Mr. and Ms. Breakthrough.” These students represent all of the Breakthrough character strengths and have exhibited the values of this organization their past three summers at program. One of my highlights of this summer was seeing one of my former students being crowned Mr. Breakthrough. This student made my first summer in the classroom an easy transition as he always cheered me on and picked me up on days when I felt like my world was falling apart. Students like him are the reason I considered even doing Breakthrough another summer. I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of the title, and I am so happy I was there for one of the bigger moments in his Breakthrough career.

The night ends with one final teacher bridge where students walk through the arched arms on the stage and hug each of their teachers goodbye. I promised myself I’d stay strong this year and refrain from crying as much as possible, but I cracked when I saw my former “tough” ninth grade boys crying over their last summer and last few minutes with me. The final bridge is one of the more powerful moments of the Breakthrough summer and a place where the Breakthrough magic is evident. Students cry, saying goodbye to their teachers, nervous that they’ll never see them again. Students cry, knowing that their lives will never be the same and, even when they see their peers during School Year Program in a few weeks, everything will be different. Students cry and dread having to go back to real school after experiencing a Breakthrough summer with the teachers that served as their role models and friends, and their friends that turned into family. I remember leaving Houston last summer broken and empty after having to say goodbye to my students, my teacher-friends, and a city I fell in love with. As I head into my senior year of college and I leave Houston again, I am not thinking of this as a permanent goodbye, and I am optimistic that I will be back in Houston in no time. I am also confident that I will see my students and favorite humans again soon. As my parents often say, “Life is a series of arrivals and departures.” If I don’t make it back to Houston any time soon, I know that I will be back in 2022 to see the loves of my life graduate high school and follow their dreams off to college. Hasta luego, Houston, until next time. Thank you for the Breakthrough magic these past two summers.

Want to help teachers like Niki reach more students? Click here to learn about Breakthough’s mission, and click here to make a donation.

 

Week Six – Xitlalli Vazquez, BTH Teacher

Decolonizing American Schools

My name is Xitlalli, and I teach 9th grade geometry at Breakthrough Houston. I want to preface this blog by telling you a little bit about my name’s origin.

Xitlalli (Seeth-la-lee) means “star” in Nahuatl. This language is only one of the many indigenous languages spoken in many parts of Mexico and Central America; it was also my grandmother’s native language. Unfortunately, I did not grow up learning the language, for it was never taught to my father because to be indigenous in Mexico, much like in America, is to be less than. Many of my ancestors have been forced to leave their language and conform to the superior language of Mexico – Spanish.

However, I have had the privilege of relearning my language in college through a native Nahua professor. So, coming into Breakthrough, I had the intention of honoring my roots and all indigenous identities that are constantly marginalized in this country. I have done this by using a “Nahuatl countdown” in my class. For those who do not teach, a countdown is often used for grabbing students’ attention, otherwise referred to as an “attention signal.” In my case, I taught my students to count from 5 to 1 in Nahuatl: “Makwili, nawi, eyi, ome, se.” Little did I know that this would soon invoke an appreciation in my kids for indigenous cultures and languages. I expressed to them that bringing this language into math class is very powerful to me for the following reason: Indigenous languages are never used in academic realms. If we wish to speak about science and math, we do so through English, Spanish, or even French. So, if a native were to choose to learn about calculus, they would first have to learn one of our colonizers’ languages. Bringing Nahuatl into my classroom is a stepping tool into decolonizing American schools. Something that not many of us think about. We are often taught that allowing others to speak a language other than English in the classroom is “exclusive;” however, I beg to differ. There is power in making our diversity and differences more transparent in classrooms, for I have learned the following 5 things by using Nahuatl alone:

Se, I unintentionally encouraged my kids to celebrate our differences.

Ome, I created a space for them to practice tolerance.

Eyi, I invoked in them a curiosity about Nahua culture.

Nawi, I Taught my students the importance of amplifying the voices of minorities, especially in the academia.

Makwili, I helped them acknowledge that Native lives are present today and on the lands that we live in; they are not meant to be only exhibited in museums.

During parent conference, many parents expressed to me that their children went home and taught them how to count in Nahuatl. I also had a student who went further and asked to learn more phrases in the language. He asked me to help him translate “Thank you, teacher,” and without a doubt, every day before he exited the classroom he would say, “Tlazoskamati notemachtiani.” It was the little imprints of my culture that I left on my students for which I will forever be grateful.

I understand that speaking Nahuatl does not fix the problems that my indigenous brothers and sisters are facing, but it has allowed me to bring them into a space that is not made for them –education.

Want to help teachers like Xitlalli reach more students? Click here to learn about Breakthough’s mission, and click here to make a donation.

 

 

Week Six – Kayla Jules, BTH Teacher

The Untapped Power of Middle School Students

As a set in stone future educator, I am currently in school getting my degree in education. At this moment, my degree is focused on elementary students, and before Breakthrough Houston, I wouldn’t have considered any other grades. During the last two years of high school and the first two years of college, I did internships working with fourth and fifth graders. Fifth grade was the oldest grade I worked with, and they were already so different from the third and fourth graders I wanted to work with post-graduation. After finding out that Breakthrough works with middle schoolers, I was nervous because, not only I am small myself, many people continuously tell me that I look like a 14-year old. Although this may be true, I was willing to take the risk and go in blindly.

My first week with the eighth graders was already a change from the elementary students I worked with in the past. The first week mostly consisted of “get to know you’s,” trying to get students to open out of their shells, and me trying to awkwardly fit in with what “middle schoolers like” (when they don’t even know that themselves). I realized that, although I remember little to no moments of my middle school years and they seem quite uneventful, these students are going through their most drama-infested, hormone-changing, puberty-driven years of their life. These years are the beginning moments of their emotional instability, the middle ground between childhood and teenage years, and the age where they finally don’t think cooties are horrific. Wow. How did I ever think middle school was uneventful?

Although I remember my middle school years as one big blur, students are finding themselves, becoming more self-aware, working on bettering themselves and making breakthroughs every day. I have one student who knows that math isn’t her “strong suit” and yet every day, instead of giving up in class and not answering questions, she comes in during advisory to get extra help, asks many questions for understanding and clarification, works hard and gives herself credit when she finally understands a topic. Nothing sounded sweeter than when she exclaimed: “I get it, Ms. Kayla! I finally get it! I am proud of myself!”

These years are the most critical moments of understanding and a foundation of what the students are and can be. As teachers, these moments may seem ridiculous to us, but to these students, they are the end of the world. Considering there is so much change happening in their life at this time, being a middle school teacher is much more than teaching a subject; you are a support system, a confidante, a guide, a mentor, and even a role model.

Although my ideal grades were third and fourth grade, Breakthrough has shown me that middle school has crucial years where there is the most change, and students need the most understanding teachers. With that being said, I would love to work with some fantastic, sassy, and overdramatic middle school students.

Want to help teachers like Kayla reach more students? Click here to learn about Breakthough’s mission, and click here to make a donation.

 

Week SixElizabeth Tarantino, BTH Teacher

Exploring the Classrooms of Houston, Texas

After completing weeks of hard work and dedication in the classroom, Breakthrough students get a taste of the endless possibilities that await them in the future. The highly-anticipated Career Day allows our eighth grade students to explore the endless possibilities that follow dedication to their education. Curious and excited, students have pre-selected professions they are interested in learning more about.

Among the many various options were design-based careers in Engineering and Architecture, generously hosted by Harris County Flood Control and Dillon Kyle Architects. Since Houston is a center for the arts, Breakthrough Houston also offered opportunities for students to explore careers in music and theatre with visits to the KPFT radio station, Alley Theatre, and Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. A day at Harris County Court of Appeals gave students an up-close perspective on our judicial system while TopSpot Internet Marketing reiterated the importance of netiquette and illuminated the wealth of opportunities for digital marketers.

For those who are considering an avenue of healthcare, students could experience the Texas Heart Institute or Bellaire Richmond Pet Hospital to see the daily aspects of various medical fields. I had the opportunity to visit a team of veterinarians who gave four students a hands-on learning experience at the Pet Hospital.

When we arrived, we had the opportunity to meet a large dog named Bonnie. With the help of the vets, we each listened to her heart, using a stethoscope, and looked in her ears with an otoscope. We gave her a full examination and learned about the power of preventative medicine to fight against heartworms, ringworms, and more.

“My favorite part was helping the vets give Bonnie a full exam,” Christian said later.

At the X-Ray station, we learned about the skeletal anatomy of the dog from a 3D model. Since technicians in the X-Ray room have to hold an animal still, they must wear heavy lead aprons to avoid radiation. We had the privilege of trying on the lead aprons and even got to read a sample X-Ray to spot a broken bone.

After learning about blood tests, we dressed in full surgical gowns, hair nets, and masks before entering a sterile surgery room. One of Luna’s favorite moments was learning how to tie surgical stitches on a stuffed animal. Stepping out of our comfort zones with the hands-on activity made learning so much fun.

I was extremely impressed by the questions that each student asked the veterinarians. As pet owners themselves, the students expressed interest in how each doctor selects the right treatment, makes hard decisions, and handles behavior from a nervous animal. Since animals can’t voice about their pain or ailment in words, this specific type of doctor must use remarkable critical thinking and analytical skills to piece information together like a puzzle.

As teachers, we encourage each student to find their passions and pursue them as a future career. Dressed for success, our eighth graders successfully achieved a day of learning outside the classroom. Seeing different professions in action provided a snapshot of what life could look like in a career they may be interested in exploring.

Want to help teachers like Elizabeth reach more students? Click here to learn about Breakthough’s mission, and click here to make a donation.

 

Week Five – Ashley McDonald, Returning BTH Teacher

While I fell on the tour, my students fell in love with Rice

“Ah, I’m so excited!” I kept telling my students. I was bouncing in my seat, completely ready to get on the bus with them. As a current Rice student and tour guide, it felt very special to be able to give my own Breakthrough Houston students a tour of Rice. As we hopped on the bus and made our way over, my students kept reiterating how much they wanted to see Rice and just how beautiful the campus was.

Stepping off the bus onto campus felt like I was returning home. I saw the Sallyport (a large arch at the front of the university) and lawn in front of the school and was overwhelmed by the sense of familiarity and comfort. I wanted to be sure to cover as much as I could about my university  and help them fall in love with Rice just as much as I love Rice. I especially wanted to highlight Rice’s qualities because I had two current Breakthrough high schoolers on the trip and one of them wanted to apply to Rice this fall.

One of the stops I was the most enthusiastic to show them was my residential college, Wiess. At Breakthrough, there are five other teachers who also go to Rice, so the students always hear us say how our college is the best college (even though everyone knows that Wiess is the best college). Now, my students finally had the opportunity to see what I, and the other teachers, have been talking about. We walked into the commons (our cafeteria and general mingling place at the dorm), and they looked around in awe. After a few seconds, their questions were flying. At one point, I decided that we needed to sit down and have a whole Q & A session. My students asked one question after another, and even some of the teachers joined in! I was very appreciative of their excitement for college. I could see that every one of them was starting to picture themselves in a college environment. Eating in the commons, studying in their dorm room, walking to class…this college tour gave these students an explicit picture of life after high school.    

After we left the commons, my tour started to take some twists and turns. I ended up falling backwards onto some steps because I wasn’t paying close enough attention. My shoe ended up coming off too. My students were enthralled by a squirrel eating a cheeto puff, and I accidentally walked out of the Sallyport the wrong way (superstition has it that if you walk out of the Sallyport while still an undergrad, you’ll never graduate).

Regardless, the trip ended up being a success.

Once we got onto the bus, I asked them what they thought. “It was so cool!”I loved seeing Rice” and “I want to go to Rice!” echoed off the walls. It warmed my heart. One day, maybe I’ll see my students again as baby Rice owls? We’ll see. One thing I know for sure is that my students will be successful no matter where they go.

Want to help teachers like Ashley reach more students? Click here to learn about Breakthough’s mission, and click here to make a donation.

 

 

Week Four – Jim Zhang, Returning BTH Teacher

Click!

I applied, thinking it would be a straightforward gig.

I’ll just go in, teach some science, and be on my way out.

I had no idea what I was in for.

There’s a saying commonly cited among Breakthrough faculty and students: “Lean into discomfort,” almost as if it’s painful. But here’s the thing, you really don’t need to do much leaning. Somehow, somewhere, your peers, your students — they make you want to dive in. Wholeheartedly.

We’re here for the kids, of course, but I cannot begin to explain how transformative this place is — not only for students, but for teachers too.

What is this? Where am I? What are all of these cheers? What is all this lingo?

I entered Orientation Week wary, just like the new 7th graders, but I quickly grew along the same path as our students.

I was uncomfortable, but passionate; I loved my subject, yet I wasn’t expecting such enthusiasm. I was a naturally reserved person.

But that quickly changes here at Breakthrough, where you are driven, pushed to want to put your best foot forward. Once again, much like some of our kids in their first week, I came out of my shell following those early days of orientation. I wanted to commit to the cheers, kudos — all of the little zingers that made Breakthrough’s community Breakthrough.

And when the kids finally arrived, when we could finally meet the people we were working for: I was ecstatic. Breakthrough Houston’s community of students and teachers truly encourages anyone — student or teacher — to break out of their comfort zone, their mold. But trust me, you’ll never feel as if you’re being shoved. You do this because you know it’s for your peers, your community. You want to grow. And I truly feel I did.

It was almost like a fortune fulfilled. During the interview, they told me: “We’re here to not only teach students but also to teach our next generation of educators.”

In more ways than one, I could see that coming into fruition, day by day. And it’s been hard work, grueling even. But, I cannot overstate it: you come in wanting to do this, wanting to exhaust yourself.

Now, I’m here! Almost a year later, in my second summer here at the St. John’s campus, I still find myself growing everyday — challenged, pushed by a new cohort of teachers and students alike.

Whether it’s during faculty meetings, in the lab surrounded by microscopes, or during Crafty Arts — as I doodle among the students after a long day, Breakthrough has truly been a transformative experience for me.

I can’t believe it all began with a Google search.


Want to help teachers like Jim reach more students? Click here to learn about Breakthough’s mission, and click here to make a donation.

 

 

 

 

 

Week Three – Angela Martinez, BTH Teacher

BTH Community Helps Houston’s Unity

On the morning of Community Service Day, every BTH staff member is running around, trying to make sure each first aid kit is ready to go, water packs are separated for each of the nine families, insect repellent and sunscreen bottles are available for everyone, family leads have the bus number and schedule of when families will be picked up, attendance is accounted for, and everyone has eaten a great breakfast to start off the day with as much energy as possible.

Why all this effort, you might ask? Today is Community Service Day—an opportunity for Breakthrough Houston students to not only work together but also to learn about the whole Houston community. I love BTH, and I was ready to share that #BreakthroughSpirit with the rest of the city.

“Ms. Angie, come sit with us in the back. We saved you a seat!,” my students yell. I smile and am overwhelmed with the comforting feeling of being asked, VOLUNTARILY, by my students to sit with them. Although the bus ride to Buffalo Bayou Park is only ten minutes away, I savor each second of laughing with my students about their stories from last year’s Community Service Day. They give me the complete guide of what to do and what not to do since it is my first year experiencing this BTH tradition.

  1. DO: Take lots of pictures and videos; you’ll want to remember this day.
  2. DON’T: Embarrass me (your dear student) by saying how cute we look as we help out; be professional, Ms. Angie.
  3. DO: Be prepared to get dirty with us. If I’m helping, you’re helping; don’t think you’re off the hook.
  4. DON’T: Say you never get sunburned to avoid applying sunscreen. It’s Houston; we all need sunscreen even if we’re inside.
  5. DO: Volunteer to help the leader at the park if he or she needs someone to demonstrate what we will be doing.
  6. DON’T: Complain about how hot it is outside; we know you’re used to the arctic AC of St. John’s, but we can’t stop the sun from what it does; come on, Ms. Angie.

 

I burst out laughing, interrupting their increasingly ridiculous list. I love being outside and have no idea where they were getting these ideas!

After Community Service Day finished, and we were all exhausted from a tiring and fulfilling morning of weeding and mulching, laughing and cheering, we returned to St. John’s, and I sat attentively during our afternoon All School Meeting to hear the different students from each family walk up to the stage and share their experiences with everyone. Families went to BARC Animal Shelter, Memorial Park Conservancy, Finca Tres Robles, Hermann Park, Czech Center Museum, Avondale House, St. Dominic Village and, of course, Buffalo Bayou Park.

Students were asked to explain what they did with their families and how it impacted them. I was amazed by the BTH character strengths that flew around Flores Hall, echoing the four walls.

“My family showed grit and self control by not giving up or complaining even though the sun was blazing.”

“My family presented social intelligence by working together to pull weeds.”

“My family showed optimism by adapting to a new environment of elders that we had never met before, and we kept the enthusiasm going all day.”

As the day wrapped and the students were loaded on their buses home, I realized what makes Breakthrough so special. BTH is a culture; it’s a spirit. We’re also a family. A family who cares about making a positive impact on our larger family in Houston.

Want to help teachers like Angie reach more students? Click here to learn about Breakthrough’s mission, and click here to make a donation. 

 

 

Week TwoElizabeth Tarantino, BTH teacher

Three Profound Truths I Learned During My First Week of Teaching

I never realized the amount of hard work educators invest into a week of teaching. Now that I’m on the other side of training, lesson planning, and facilitating class time, I’ve grown to appreciate the teaching profession for its importance in equipping the next generation. As a Teaching Fellow at Breakthrough Houston this summer, I’ve been surrounded with incredible colleagues that have encouraged and supported me to be the best educator I can be. After completing an exciting Week 1, I’ve realized three valuable takeaways I’ll carry with me as I enter into my career in education.

  1. Your attitude determines the outcome. 

Even though I’m now a teacher, I’m never too old to learn! Throughout this week, I discovered the importance of learning from mistakes—it’s simply a way to grow. On occasion, my chemistry students have hypothesized beyond the curriculum, showing their intellectual curiosity in science. After observing how dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) responded to water in the lab, my students then wondered how the dry ice responds to liquids of different densities. By jointly researching a new topic and designing a corresponding experiment, my students taught me that every mind, no matter the age, offers fresh perspectives and bright imagination.

Having a positive attitude toward feedback from my Instructional Coach, other teachers, and even myself has helped me navigate the ups and downs of my first days of teaching. Every evaluator includes a “praise,” an encouragement about the lesson, and a “prompt,” something that we can use to improve upon for future classes. From constructive evaluations, I get a metaphorical magnifying glass that points out both accomplishments and critiques that shape my future lessons. Each day is unique and exciting, and I look forward to learning even more during the next five weeks.

  1. As a community, we’re better together.

Based on our own life and educational experiences, every teacher and student possesses creative ideas, enthusiasm, and strengths that make us better together. Learning reaches even beyond the academic classroom to develop character strengths such as perseverance, social intelligence, and gratitude. This week, the rising ninth graders led by example with the youngest class of seventh graders, who may have felt nervous or hesitant during their first days in the program. I saw older students helping the seventh graders feel welcomed and included by teaching them Breakthrough cheers during lunch, revealing the power of character and community.

Breakthrough Houston cultivates a unique environment with constant support from Instructional Coaches and other Teaching Fellows. As Teaching Fellows, our goal—to see students succeed—makes each lesson plan, early morning, and enthusiastic cheer 100% worth it. We are encouraged to “lean into discomfort” and step out of our respective comfort zones, whether that’s talking to someone new or trying a new class activity. Together, we have the privilege to grow, both as educators and as individuals, in the safety of a supportive community.

  1. When we celebrate the little victories, they become big victories.

In life, success is often defined by achieving a broad, long-term goal. People emphasize the end result; however, it’s the daily choices that determine whether an individual will accomplish their goal. The little victories make the big achievements attainable, whether that’s seeing a student’s “light-bulb moment” when they understand a new concept or finding a table arrangement that works well for the classroom. Through these daily triumphs, we are one step closer to achieving our ultimate goal: propelling our Breakthrough students toward a brighter future.

Want to help teachers like Elizabeth reach more students? Click here to learn about Breakthrough’s mission, and click here to make a donation.  

 

 

Week One – Elliot Ross, returning BTH teacher

Once a minority student. Now a minority teacher.

If you walk into St. John’s School around 5:00 PM during summer Breakthrough orientation week, you’ll be greeted by the sound of Teaching Fellows cheering in unison, “Why was today a great day? BECAUSE IT WAS A BREAKTHROUGH DAY!” But seldom is a Breakthrough day the same for all of its participants. While the Administration Committee and I are preparing our creatively composed skit about our diverse roles in the Breakthrough community, the Mental Health Committee is busy organizing a trip to an Astros game to alleviate the pressures of lesson planning that plague each of us Teaching Fellows. Meanwhile, the TA’s are frantically going over the summer’s lessons with Mrs. Collins to ensure a solid and structurally stable support system. So what is it about Breakthrough that seems to touch the hearts of so many Teacher Fellows (including myself!), especially during such a work-packed orientation week? It must be something in the coffee…

Why Breakthrough matters to me

As a second year Breakthrough teacher, nothing warmed my heart to the same degree as the occasional text I would receive from a handful of my former students while I was stuck, yet again, in the stressful and studious environment of UT Austin’s library—“Yo, Mr. E, I killed my geometry test today!”

When I shared my enthusiasm with my mom, a former principal of The Fay School, she smiled and said, “Remember that time you told me, ‘Mom, there is no way my goofy teaching style will ever impact these kids.’” My mother laughed, “Well, it did! Because none of these kids have ever had a teacher with the same ADHD, the same dyslexia, the same fascination for learning, and a similar ethnic background. As much as I hate to tell you this, my little Latino, pre-law student, you’re falling in love with teaching.” And right, she was!

Students need to see teachers that look like they do

Having been adopted into a multiracial family, I like to tell people I’m well educated in the field of diversity. But even with a Russian-born brother, African-American sister, Mexican brother, Jewish dad, and Christian mom, when compared to my Breakthrough Houston family, my family was barely scratching the surface of a seemingly infinite rainbow of people. Undoubtedly, I found myself right at home in the tie-dye environment of Breakthrough Houston.

For as long as I can remember, diversity has always mattered to me. Attending HISD schools K-12, the only teachers that ever looked like me were my Spanish teachers, and occasionally that one teacher that was moved from the language department to the science department. A huge part of why I joined the Breakthrough team was to tell these students: “Hey, listen. I know you might not be a math person; you might not be a serious reader, but you have always been a minority, just like me. And whether you realize it already or not, the world needs us. Not because we add more flavor to the food when it’s bland, not because we can translate for the people standing in line at Target, and certainly not to add color to institutions that lack it. The world needs us so we can set the new standard of what it means to be a minority: college bound, goal driven, resilient, to actualize the dream that thousands and thousands of our parents have, and to pass on that dream to the next generation of students of all colors.”

So for me, a Breakthrough day is a day that changes what it means to be a minority student – and now a minority teacher – however big or small that change may be. I know that with each year I come back, there will be one more generation of brilliant young minds scattered across the world changing what it means to be a person of color. And that is what makes every day such a great Breakthrough day!!

Want to help teachers like Elliot reach more students? Click here to learn about Breakthough’s mission, and click here to make a donation. 

Share: