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Educator Experience: Rosa Pynes, Site Operations Manager

April 20, 2021 New Classrooms

This teacher appreciation month, we are honoring teacher voices and experiences through our Educator Experiences series. Our New Classrooms and Teach to One team possesses a collective 300+ years of teaching experience, and we’d like to tell those stories. First up: Rosa Pynes, our Site Operations Manager based in New Mexico. Keep reading to hear how Rosa structured her low-income classroom in Dallas, Texas to show her students that she cared about them and their success.

Tell us about your teaching experience.

My own experience in school encouraged me to pursue teaching post graduation. As an English language learner myself, I really struggled at school for the first couple of years — I moved to the US when I was 9 years old. As I was considering my options post graduation, I was approached by a Teach For America recruiter. The more I learned about their mission and how I could contribute to closing the achievement gap, the more excited I was at the prospect of becoming a bilingual teacher. I taught fourth and fifth grade bilingual math and science at a low income school in Dallas, Texas.

The first few months of teaching were rough. Trying to learn how to create and deliver effective lessons while trying to manage a classroom full of energetic students felt very overwhelming to me. I was very fortunate to have a strong support system around me that helped me overcome the challenges I was facing. I found the value in building relationships with my students, showing them that I really did care about them and their success. I spent a lot of time looking at data, creating centers based on different skills and creating small group lessons in order to close the gaps. Most of my students passed the state exam which was extremely exciting since most of them had never passed. The burnout was so real, but very worth it!

Tell us what you’re doing now and how you transitioned into this career path.

After two years in the classroom, I decided to pursue a different opportunity that came my way. Dallas ISD was starting a new initiative to prioritize early childhood education. As part of this effort, I was hired to help recruit early childhood teachers that would not only teach in the elementary schools but in all daycare centers around the city. I was in that role for 2 years, then transitioned to work for New Classrooms due to relocating to New Mexico (home!). With my current role as the Site Operations Manager, I am able to use my teaching background to help teachers think through any challenges they come across when implementing the program and beyond. 

What is one piece of advice or encouragement you would give to teachers today?

I would just want to encourage teachers to not be afraid to try new things in their classrooms or with their teaching practices. Change can be scary, however, that’s how we grow and help our students grow. 

How would Teach to One have changed your teaching experience?

I think that Teach to One makes teaching math way more sustainable for teachers.  The fact that Teach to One groups students, gives immediate data and provides teachers with resources for their lessons really allows teachers to be more impactful and intentional.