First Grade Teacher
Over the course of 10 years, Monica has realized her passion for creating community through learning. During her studies at UC Santa Cruz, she worked at the UCSC Arboretum cultivating plants for the educational garden, while also leading volunteer programs geared toward habitat restoration and sustainable plant propagation techniques. It was through these programs that Monica recognized the importance of facilitating hands-on learning opportunities, and the impact it had on creating strong relationships within her community.
After working at the Arboretum, she decided that pursuing a career in teaching offered her an ideal opportunity to continue creating community through learning—only this time with the creative and growing minds of 6- and 7-year olds!
Monica completed her Teaching Credential through the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute, where she adopted the values of progressive education. While earning her credential, she worked as the first, fourth, and fifthgrade Associate Teacher at The San Francisco School and Katherine Delmar Burke School. In both settings, she gained invaluable experience creating classrooms where learning felt personal and vibrant. Her philosophy of teaching follows a constructivist model where students are encouraged to create their own understanding through hands-on learning, investigation, and collaboration. Monica also uses her curriculum and teaching methods to help guide her students socially and emotionally. Her love for singing and movement, and gardening and the environment help her create learning opportunities that foster personal relationships, positive interactions, and teamwork. At the heart of her teaching rests her commitment to developing whole people—children whose interest, thoughtfulness, creativity, kindness, and respect are not limited to the walls of the classroom, but who absorb and live those values.
As a teacher, Monica is inspired and moved by the creativity that pours from her students’ minds each and every day. She loves watching them negotiate and learn how to socialize and become part of a community. It is her ability to help guide both academic and social learning that ignites her passions and dedication to her profession.