New Teacher Feature: Lisa Rodriguez

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Though being a full-time math teacher is new to recently-graduated college student Lisa Rodriguez, common stereotypical struggles for new teachers haven’t been an issue.

“I love the community, I love the math department,” she said. “Everyone’s so nice and friendly, even the students. They’re always working hard, and it’s such a great school.”

Rodriguez grew up in the town of Chelsea and has spent her entire life in Mass. She graduated from Lesley University in Cambridge and has worked in teaching ever since. Before working at the school, Rodriguez worked at both a summer camp and student taught at a school in Everett in which she said she was prepared for the tasks of teaching on her own.

“I student-taught at Everett and the kids were like ‘I’m going to beat this person up!’ They were very confrontational. I wasn’t prepared for it, but I was like ‘okay, I can deal with this.’”

According to Rodriguez, the kids at Brookline High have proven to be much different than at her previous jobs. She rarely has to deal with kids not wanting to do their work, but occasionally she’ll have to redirect them. Rodriguez attributes it to Brookline as a whole.

Rodriguez’s passion for math started at an early age but took a brief hiatus once she got to high school level.

“I was always good at math, whether I liked it or not was another story,” Rodriguez said. “I loved it until I got to high school where it was very lecture-based. I didn’t really enjoy it.”

Once Rodriguez reached college, her love for the subject emerged when she took a course with a teacher who took a different approach to it than her previous teachers had. She thought his approach was fun and then couldn’t stop talking math courses.

Rodriguez teaches freshmen and sophomores and raves about the school year so far.
“So far all of the kids have been wonderful,” she said. “They’re working hard. They ask questions. They all want to participate. I think it has to do with the school—Brookline in general.”