Claudia Torres Tapia

Envision & Lighthouse Teacher Residency at Alder GSE

Resident, Cohort 2019–2020
Residency Placement: Lodestar: A Lighthouse Community Public School
Mentor: Laura Einhorn

What is your hometown? Oakland, California

What college did you attend? California State University, Stanislaus

What degree did you earn? BA in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Juvenile Justice; BA in Ethnic Studies with a minor in Sociology

What inspired you to teach? I was inspired to teach by previous teachers and students with whom I have worked. Throughout my years in education, I have had amazing teachers who helped shaped me into the person I am today. I was lucky to have had supportive and encouraging teachers who saw potential in me and pushed me to believe in myself. During my last two years of undergraduate studies, I had the opportunity to be a mentor to middle and high school students. This was my first time working one-on-one with students and I loved it. This mentoring opportunity reassured me that I wanted to be a teacher one day. It was heartwarming to see students pay attention, ask questions, and, most importantly, show improvement. I was able to connect with and help all of the students, even those with whom the teacher usually had a hard time. I was mainly inspired by the power I will have as an educator to empower and liberate students.

Why did you choose Alder’s Teacher Residency program? I chose to do the Alder’s Teacher Residency program because I liked the design of the program and their values resonated with mine. I believe in the vision and mission of the program and have hope that it helps me grow into a transformative intellectual.