Student Profile: Steven Florindo looks forward to new challenges as a teacher

Monday, August 9, 2021
Steven Florindo

Steven Florindo (he/él) is pursuing a Master’s degree in Education and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in the Teacher Education Program. He is also working towards bilingual authorization. Originally from Anaheim, CA, Florindo graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Linguistics - Language Studies: Spanish and a minor in Education. It was here, working in San Diegan elementary schools, where he came to discover how rewarding and energizing it is working with young people and helping them attain success. He had the pleasure of working in AmeriCorps after graduating, serving in a 10th grade History and mixed-grade Structured-English-Immersion Civics class. From courses to in-classroom experiences, Florindo’s journey with education has left him interrogating the shortcomings of America’s public schools and exploring student agency in educational outcomes, anti-racist curricula and assessment, and the fostering of linguistic and literary pluralism. He hopes to maximize student learning beyond traditional measures, while also giving all students the tools needed for successful navigation of our society.

GGSE: What are you most looking forward to this school year?
Florindo: I am looking forward to the constructive and cooperative relationships I’ll have with my cohort, cooperating teachers, and professors. Together, I anticipate expanding and refining my current understanding of what it means to be an educator and challenging my currently held beliefs and ideals about teaching and learning and the work towards greater equitable outcomes in public education. I am also looking forward to how the year will transform me on a personal level — I expect to graduate a better person than I was coming in.

GGSE: How did your experience with AmeriCorps help you grow as an educator?
Florindo: This role exposed me to a new community outside of the Southern California bubble: Boston. Being able to work inside of classrooms (virtually) with talented, dedicated teachers and bright, resilient students amidst a pandemic provided a unique opportunity for me to face challenges of delivering public service education during a pandemic. We didn’t do this perfectly… and we had to work with the students, administration, and families at times to truly get it right. I am grateful to the Jamaica Plain community in Boston for welcoming me and allowing me to work with such an inspirational group of students, and for the chance to approach education from a new angle.

GGSE: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Florindo: I would have to choose changing our humanity's systems and products to be carbon neutral and sustainable. I am tempted to choose something along the lines of social justice, but there’s a lot to unpack there and it’s arrogant for me to think I would have all the answers… Besides, solving the climate crisis gives us more time to address social justice as a society with the care and attention it deserves.

GGSE: What's the best advice you've been given?
Florindo: Remember that people are doing their best, and that looks different from day to day.