Teacher Education Program
Olga Hechavarria, TAC, High School Mathematics
Olga grew up in San Diego, one of five kids, in a poor, predominantly Mexican neighborhood. She "flew the coop" to Boston University, then transferred to Cornell, which she loved. After repeatedly changing her major (bio to economics, to business, to math), she settled on math as a result of taking "this neat little class for people like me who couldn't decide if they wanted to teach or not. Loved it, and the rest is history." She decided to become a teacher because "being a teacher is very powerful, and it's a job where you're never doing the same thing over and over again. You are in control and can change how you want to teach and be creative as you see fit."
"There is a need for teachers who actually want to teach and are willing to hold all their students to the high expectations they will have to meet to be prepared to enter the world. It is a huge responsibility that only people that believe in the purpose and need for good education should undertake."
"TEP really is a little community. When I got the phone call telling me that I had been accepted, that was one thing. When I called back with questions they recognized who I was the second I mentioned my first name, which made it feel very personal. They have lived up to the expectation of this being a program where we all really know each other and care about one another."
"The summer co-teaching was a lot of fun. The kids were a challenge but they DO want to learn. Take the time to build a safe learning community that they buy into because it really pays off. You can't teach someone or expect them to respect you if they don't know you and you know nothing about them."