Esperanza Barcelo has always had a passion for the arts –– a passion that translates into her first year as a 9th grade geometry teacher. Outside of school, she enjoys playing the guitar and drawing, even going so far as to compete in an art competition.
What interested you in teaching?
When I was in school, I was not very good at math and wanted to try to get better at it and help other people who struggle with it. We do a little bit of both [algebra and geometry] here, which is nice. I liked doing algebra and equations, but shapes are fun too because I like to draw.
What has been your favorite thing so far about teaching 9th grade math?
I really like learning with the students. I think when I came here, I was a little bit nervous. When you are a teacher, if you say the wrong thing, you could potentially hurt someone’s feelings without even knowing. I learned over time that we are all just humans, and all we have to do is just own up to our mistakes.
What do you think we should do as a society to try and diminish math-based anxiety and stress?
Well, I think we put a lot of pressure on students, and we expect them to have all this knowledge. I think it’s good to have support for them. Not expect them to know things, but just teach them without judgment. If they have the questions, just answer them.
What’s something that you hope that your students take away from you?
Be respectful to people in your community, and respect everyone around you. Try your best.
Do you know your Hogwarts house and zodiac sign?
I watched the Harry Potter films in high school and then just took the quiz; I am a Hufflepuff. I’m also a Virgo.