What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
How do teachers captivate their students? Here, in a feature we call How I Teach, we ask educators who’ve been recognized for their work how they approach their jobs.
After college in Michigan, Amy Rehberg headed to a Caribbean island to work in the hospitality industry. It was there, while serving frozen yogurt to tourists, that she decided to become a teacher.
Rehberg, who now teaches English language learners at Horizon High School in Thornton, talked with Chalkbeat about her Caribbean revelation, why teachers need a thick skin, and how she and a colleague created a program for first-generation college-bound students.
Rehberg was one of seven finalists for the 2018 Colorado Teacher of the Year award and was able to answer a few of our questions:
Tell us about a memorable time — good or bad — when contact with a student’s family changed your perspective or approach.
Several years ago, I was invited to a student’s home to meet with a college recruiter and help his family navigate the information. The family’s first language was Spanish, and their son was bilingual. I spoke a little Spanish, and the recruiter spoke none. I sat with the family, listened, and asked questions I knew they wanted answers to, and paraphrased other questions.
That experience enlightened me to the idea that we had a population of students that was not getting access to college information. My colleague, Brad Turano, and I brainstormed an idea for a program at our school that would give first-generation college applicants and students of color the information and exposure needed to apply to, pay for, and graduate from college. Our administration liked the idea and funded it. The Adelante Leadership Program has been going strong at Horizon High School for seven years.
Read the full article about teachers inspiring students by Ann Schimke at Chalkbeat.