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  • Ann Cosico

Teachers Reflect on Year One

Updated: Mar 13, 2020

By Julienne Cancio ’21 and Jessica Ferrer ’21

We caught up with a few teachers at the end of their first year at ICA Cristo Rey.

Ms. Ria Aquino, Religious Studies

Why did you decide to teach at ICA? I wanted to teach one, at an all-girls school, and two, at a high school. However, I also wanted a similar community compared to when I was in West Oakland, where it was very diverse and in the inner city. I enjoy being with teenagers of that community.

What has been your most memorable moment? I did an activity where all of my senior students brought in an item that was sentimental to them... So we sat in a circle and shared with the class their item and what it meant to them. In each class period we all spent the time together being very honest and vulnerable. Many of us cried and a lot of us shared things very uncomfortable to say aloud, but we did it together... It was such a bonding moment... We all created this community of trust and openness. I just felt so honored that they would share these things with me and with each other.

Mr. Greg Callaghan, English

How has your experience with students differed between teaching and working in CWSP?

In CWSP I felt like a lot of my interactions with students were centered around the rules, and I don’t feel that same way in the classroom. I feel like we are able to challenge each other with questions and ideas. It’s not all about what’s right and wrong.

What has been your most memorable moment?

Oh, there have been a lot of memorable moments. I really enjoyed when my classes were watching and reading Romeo and Juliet and getting into it... laughing and crying along with the story... I would say that’s the most memorable to this point... Another success was when we planned the Freshman Breakfast on Founder’s Day. That kind of sisterhood among the frosh was really nice to witness, and I am aiming to incorporate more of those things next year as the Students Activities Director.

How did you manage directing plays [at Riordan High School] and teaching? It was a real lesson in time management. I had to fully wrap my day, here, by 3:30 so I could get to rehearsal and prep for that at 4:00. Then, a lot of my time after rehearsal was prepping for the next day and responding to emails. The challenge and the learning for me has been when to dedicate my time to each school and when to split my focus but still be fully engaged in the work that I am in.

Mr. Brian Schwartze, Math and Science

What has been your most memorable moment? I don’t know if there is one moment that sticks out much more than others. I will say that I have cried during more than one senior speech because of how beautiful they were, and I also loved our College Deci- sion Assembly. Oh, and a memory of a certain student-faculty basket- ball game also comes to mind...

What did you enjoy from this season coaching golf? I enjoyed getting to share a game that I love with the girls on the team. I enjoyed getting to see students outside of the classroom context and getting to help a lot of girls try something new.


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