‘her previous desires to become a teacher had not felt as daunting’

“I can actually do this,”

Heidy Sanchez, sophomore, thought. As she sat in her middle school classroom during freshmen orientation for Link Crew, she found herself explaining, comfortably, the high school to incoming freshmen. Suddenly, her previous desires to become a teacher had not felt as daunting.

The year prior, Heidy could have never imagined herself doing something like this—she was far too scared to ask questions. It was almost an impulsive decision, when she saw that email sent by Ms. Szafasz—but it was one she knew she needed to take if she ever wanted to see how she would thrive.

Creating a comfortable environment for students is a goal Heidy intends to carry with her, as it was this environment that allowed her to thrive.

“I know that there are a lot of teachers that I can look back,” Heidy said. “I remember them because they were good at what they did. Then during summer break when I miss being at school, the environment that really made me think about it more because it’s this is kind of an environment I would like to be at in the future”

Part of what built up to that moment was Heidy’s own experiences during the pandemic—but also, what it is like to learn by choice. She had always dreaded when teachers would call on students names randomly—but in classes like Mr. Barnes’, she felt inspired to participate by choice.

“Mr. Barnes is very real with students. He’s the type of teacher you can connect with,” Heidy said. “They’re themselves around you. Those are two teachers this year that I have right now that I’ve been able to open up more in the class and just asked for more help and stuff because I felt comfortable.”