Name: Saray Felix
Hometown: Los Angeles
Current School: Los Angeles Teacher Preparatory High School
Subject(s): Biology, Physiology, Health, ICS, PLTW- Engineering Design, Leadership & Yearbook
What leadership roles do you play?
Being in a small school allows for many leadership roles. I have been active in the Governance Board, the Instructional Leadership Team, Principal Interview Team, the Chemical Safety Coordinator, PD Presenter, and have helped with developing 9th and 10th grade Advisory curriculum, coordinated Thanksgiving Family Dinner, Mothers Day Dinner, and Engineering Family Showcase.
What are your favorite strategies to engage students in learning?
I like to introduce the topics to students in ways that will keep them intrigued for most of the unit by using visuals. Before we begin to explore what defines organisms I show them some video clips of Mars and new discoveries in mars and exoplanets. Throughout the unit they want to know if life on Mars is possible, but first they must determine how “life” has been determined to be on Earth.
I have also shown them images of GMO’s and they must determine by the end of the unit if they are possible or not, and then explain how. Visuals are used throughout, to be explained by students, to learn the main concept, to review/check for understanding, to question their ideas, and for group discussions.
What kind of a learning environment do you strive to create and maintain in your classroom?
Respect and Teamwork are my motto. Students readily learn that respect is expected in all its facets. They must respect their peers so that teamwork could be possible. They also learn my 3 C’s of Teamwork: collaboration, cooperation, and communication. To help them realize the significance of respect and teamwork, all the team building activities done in class end with student reflections.
What is your favorite classroom management activity?
I spend about 2-3 weeks at the beginning of the school year implementing the Science Binder. The first day we all work on how to organize the Agendas/Objectives, the Warm-Ups, and Notes in their Binder. For the next week I talk them through it at the beginning of the class and walk around ensuring that they are still keeping it as expected. The second week I still walk around to verify their organization but allow them to begin on their own without my cue. By third week, most classes are working on them almost perfectly and they are very familiar with the routine. This process makes the beginning of class easy for all and also helps me more effectively and efficiently grade their Binder.
What is the your most memorable experience with LAUTR?
My most memorable experience with LAUTR was in CSULA during course discussions. Each of the professors opened many rich and intriguing dialogue within our cohort that caused us to dig deep into who we are, the type of teacher we hope to be, about our ideals, our pedagogy, our fears, and finally to make us realize that we are passionate fighters of education and social change in our community.