In life, changes can impact someone’s life either for better or worse. In this case
Moises Martinez made a big change by going from a substitute to an English teacher.
Martinez is the new sophomore English teacher. He is an Alisal alum (class of 2006), attended Hartnell College and California State University, Monterey Bay. He chose to teach English because, one it’s important skill to develop for college, the workforce, and he admits he struggled a lot writing in college.
“I remember struggling a lot with my writing in high school and college, but with time and effort, what was once an academic obstacle, I developed all the essential components of English Language Arts,” he said. “In a way, I’m glad I struggle because it gives me a better understanding on how to help students improve.”
After Martinez received his bachelor’s degree in 2016, he knew that he wanted to work with young people. He just didn’t know at what capacity. Martinez considered counseling, a social worker, and a police officer.
“I wanted to help young people in any possible way,” he said. At the time, he worked in Seaside and was working for the Community Partnership for Youth, or CPY, which is an after school program for children. The program director of CPY encouraged him to become a teacher.
While he didn’t see himself as a teacher, Martinez still gave it a try and started subbing for Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (MPUSD) in all levels, from kindergarten to high school and he fell in love with it.
Once he decided to become a teacher, he encountered an obstacle which was having to retake the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET). The CSET is a requirement for teachers who do not have a degree in the subject they want to teach. Since he wanted to teach English, there are 4 subtests that must be fulfilled. You can pass sections, but not pass the test, which happened to Martinez.
This experience taught him to become resilient and persevere. “I didn’t pass. I felt defeated and disappointed telling my students, but I knew I could overcome this obstacle.” Martinez kept working and that effort paid off and he passed his test.
“I really could have not accomplished this goal without the support of my students, teachers, staff, and administrators,” he said.
In his first year teaching, he loves everything about it. Although he is a traveling teacher, he doesn’t mind because it’s a good way to greet the students that he has met since freshman year. Earlier this summer, in the Link Crew training, he had the opportunity to experience and to see many students that he met since they were freshmen and now they are seniors and juniors.
“Seeing these students made me feel proud to be a teacher because it feels great to see my student growth. I knew that I made a difference,” Martinez said. “I want to help my students overcome these obstacles that I once struggled with.”