Name: Nancy Ibarra Bio: Nancy Ibarra is a Chicago native and proud product of Chicago Public Schools. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her master’s degree in Urban Education from Columbia College Chicago. Her endorsements are in science, math, social science and ESL from The University of Chicago. She also holds an Algebra Initiative certificate along with a Spanish approval certificate. She is a middle school 7th and 8th grade science teacher who has taught in CPS for 17 years. Aside from teaching, she participates in various organizations that help beautify and bring resources to the Back of the Yards neighborhood where she works. She strongly believes that social justice issues should not be left out of the classroom. She wants her students to know that they have the power and responsibility to make positive changes in their community and in the world around them. Twitter handle: @Ibarradela26 Website address: http://nancyvibarra.weebly.com Your favorite quote related to teaching/learning: “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” Aristotle Book Recommendation: The book I recommend is Stuck in the Shallow End: Education, Race, and Computing. I love the metaphor that runs throughout the book comparing students of color lack of equal opportunities in computer science to the restrictions they experienced in public swimming pools in our not-so-distant history. The book forces us to look at the “computer science pipeline” from a historical lens while analyzing how segregation contributed to the disparity in education that exists today. 1. Taking each in turn. Looking back. While in high school, I took four years of math and science to prepare myself for college. It was a very exciting time, I was about to embark on a journey and become the first in my family to go to college. I was accepted into the College of Aviation at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign on a full scholarship. Going away to college, like life, was messy, very difficult and lonely at times but I needed to get away from my close knit community and experiences. I soon realized that this journey would be much more difficult than I had anticipated. Although I loved science and math, being one of the few women and person of color in the program was a complete culture shock. I began to fail my classes and prayed every single day for a rainy day because that meant I wouldn’t have to fly. 2. Where I am now? Besides the MSUrban STEM program giving me the confidence to takes risks, it has reiterated the importance of high expectations. We were presented with difficult but doable tasks and there was no doubting our ability to complete them. This was an important lesson in how we should treat our own students. If we set high, attainable, expectations, they will strive to achieve them. In the article, “Culturally Responsive Differentiated Instructional Strategies”, the traits of a quality teacher are presented as such: The teacher believes all students can learn, has the desire and capacity to differentiate curriculum and instruction, understands diversity and thinks about students developmentally, is a risk taker, is open to change and well-versed in best practices, is comfortable challenging the status quo, knows what doesn’t work, is able to withstand staff dissension that may arise.This is the type of educator I want to be for my students. 3. Looking forward. After going through this program, I feel more confident and better equipped. I have a strong sense that what I have been doing is well-founded, despite the demands coming from all directions. I have made changes and enhanced some of what I was lacking. Pedagogical approaches in teaching have been validated. Going to the garden and teaching science through a hands-on approach is important. Giving students choice in what they learn is empowering. Connecting student learning to social injustices happening around the world is necessary. One goal that I will strive for over the next 5 years is to continue to teach important content to my students. They deserve this. Missional thinking allows me to look at the standards and bring any necessary technology to aid in facilitating this learning. Making our students effective communicators in a global society is key in our Seward Communication Arts Academy. 4. Summing up. This I believe...I have a responsibility to guide my students in becoming people who have acquired the scientific knowledge, compassion, and desire to make our world a decent place to live in.