I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and International Studies in 2010 and in 2011 became Highly Qualified to teach Secondary Social Studies (200 out of 200 in the national Praxis Exam). My teacher training was through the rigorous New Teacher Project. Some of my accomplishments as a classroom teacher are: the writing of my own World Geography curriculum using multiple sources (including the International Baccalaureate and AP Geography coursework), the creation of a community service and action program (The IB Diploma Program’s Creativity/ Action/ Service component), the co-development of a school-wide inter-disciplinary writing program, the introduction of Latin and ballroom dance to interested students at the school, the founding of an international travel club and taking students to Europe through EF Tours, successful training in both the IB CAS Coordinator position as well as the MYP Humanities course, and an invitation to do a short speech at the IB Conference of the Americas, which I invite you to watch to get a sense of my take on the meaning of access to a quality education and my experience with IB as both a student and a teacher.
In short: engaging, interactive, thought-provoking, and an incorporation of the arts and some fiction to open students' eyes and help them empathize with those halfway across the world from them. When I began teaching in New Orleans, I immediately realized that my students were coming to me in the 9th grade at varying reading levels - some alarmingly much lower than their grade level - so I developed a sense of urgency for teaching literacy skills. Reading and writing strategies were the “how” to our “what” - the Geography content I taught. I broadened my scope of literacy to include all forms of information: maps, graphs, charts, political cartoons, infographics, photos and of course, texts - both fiction and nonfiction, primary as well as secondary sources. The other “how” to my “what” was the arts. I am a strong believer that creative expression complements academic development and though I could not necessarily ‘create’ with students, we explored other cultures and themes through their art, dance, and music. I have a passion for fostering curiosity, appreciation, and respect for our planet’s human and physical diversity and my curriculum did so through carefully planned lessons that go deep into content by practicing critical thinking, problem solving, and other literacy skills.
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I studied Geography and International Studies at the University of Miami and specialized in Urban Geography while also minoring in Art and Spanish. In my sophomore year, I studied abroad at the University of Granada in Spain, where my perspective as a learner deepened even more. I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in 2010 and have since worked as a museum educator, nutrition teacher, and high school classroom teacher, and more.
I love to TEACH, DANCE, and TRAVEL! Watch my speech at the IB Conference of the Americas to get a sense of my take on education: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zps2sQ1iZLE Former blog on education topics for an educational services company: https://www.bluprintlearning.com/blog/author/natashaesteves/ LinkedIN Profile https://www.linkedin.com/in/natashaesteves