Juan Marcos Menjivar Reyes
How did you decide to become a teacher?
I decided to become a teacher when I found out that I loved helping people out in whatever way I could. Especially when it came to math, I would help peers around me who would struggle with any type of problem. I soon started learning about an educational gap that is presented in San Diego with the stigma of North of Interstate-8 there are more educated individuals than those south of Interstate-8. I am currently one of those students south of the I-8 and I want to close that gap especially in the community and population in which I grew up. I never had that teacher that would relate to the situations in which I have been in growing up until 10th grade. This is when I met my AP Spanish teacher and he would encourage us to reach for the moon because even if we failed, we would still be with the stars. I will never forget he showed us the movies “Stand and Deliver” and “The Freedom Writers.” These have been a strong pillar to what my goals in life became especially when my group of friends would mention me being a future Jaime Escalante.
Describe the process of becoming a teacher at Mesa. What have you done? What has worked well for you?
I was originally a Mathematics major at Mesa and recently did the switch to LIberal-Studies with an emphasis in Math. I have taken most of the pre-reqs for state, and I have volunteered in Elementary Schools, I have volunteered in my Middle School/ high school, and I have been tutoring a middle school student. For me the connections with other future teachers, and the passion that not only the teachers have, but the inner passion of becoming a teacher is what drives me.
What do you like about the DEBER program?
Something I love about the DEBER program is the fact that it consists of future teachers and students who come from very similar yet very different backgrounds. We are all striving to become teachers and we have all various different connections with other schools, with organizations, and have different strengths and weaknesses that we can work to help one another enforce what we may need help with. All-in-all I love the fact that we have been forming bonds and connections with one another that will last hopefully for the rest of our careers, and also with the future DEBER students that join the program.