Grace Martinez (she/her/ella) is graduating with her M.Ed. and a single subject credential in World Languages (Spanish) from the Teacher Education Program. She graduated from UC Riverside in June 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, Society, and Human Development, with a concentration in Community Leadership, Policy, and Social Justice and minored in Spanish. She is interested in becoming a teacher because she loves working with students, especially multilingual students, to help break the barriers and inequities that stunt them from reaching their full potential. Her love for Spanish and teaching influenced her in pursuing her credential in Spanish and to educate students on the diverse cultures the world has to offer.
GGSE: What one thing about teaching do you wish you could share with more people?
Grace Martinez: One thing about teaching I wish people knew more about is to know your students before you judge them, establish them as a "bad" kid or execute consequences. A lot of students have traumatic backgrounds or are currently living through tough home situations. Our jobs as teachers does not only include teaching content, but also requires a lot of mental work. We need to stop and breathe at times before acting on our emotions.
GGSE: Tell us about one of your fondest GGSE memories.
Martinez: One of my fondest GGSE memories is edTPA bootcamp, just because we were supporting each other and felt like we were supported by one another instead of feeling like we needed to do it alone. We spent hours in each other's presence even if we were listening to music. I remember even after submitting edTPA, I spent a good 2 hours afterward supporting others, whether it was compressing files, fixing error messages, warming up microwavable dinners, and just overall being a cheerleader on the sidelines. The community we built was really strong even if these were peers that we last talked to during summer, we all wanted each other to succeed.
GGSE: What's next for you?
Martinez: After graduating TEP, I will be moving back to Los Angeles, where I am originally from. I have signed an early offer contract with LAUSD and have accepted a Spanish teacher position at a local high school, coincidently it is the same high school my dad and several family members attended.
GGSE: Are there people at the Gevirtz School you would like to thank?
Martinez: Two of the most impactful TEP instructors would definitely be Jen Scalzo and David Young. Jen goes above and beyond with making everyone feel supported and if she personally does not have an answer to a question, Jen makes sure to support students in finding an answer. David is a great support as the World Language supervisor, he creates a safe and fun environment to learn and explore. He is quick to respond to questions or supports candidates outside of his work hours to provide extra resources and support. I have never felt as safe or as comfortable interacting with non-people of color until I met them and it goes to show that Jen and David are motivated to see change and create an inclusive environment.