Ms. Ortiz: One year at AJMS

“I was really impressed”


Desteny Aldana

Ms. Ortiz in front of her classroom door.

Ms Ortiz is an eighth grade ethnic studies teacher as well as a seventh grade history teacher. Before teaching at AJMS she taught in Orleans, France for two years before coming to South Central. After coming back from France, she started working at nonprofits and was working with high school students. Soon after she decided to get her master’s degree and interviewed to work here at AJMS.

“This year has been really great. I think it is really great to be back in the classroom with students and getting to know you all beyond just school and getting to know you more as your personality. It was fun getting to know you all. I honestly thought I was going to be doing a lot less my first year, just kind of trying to just learn things, but everyone just been so encouraging that I felt really able to do more.

I was able to plan the ethnic studies trip and different things and we ended up doing projects in ethnic studies. I was really impressed that I was able to do so much with the support that I was given. I think since it’s a new year and I’ve never taught ethnic studies for middle school before, it was difficult to plan lessons but also a lot of fun and I think my ethnic studies students really took it with stride and really rose up to the challenge which was really awesome.

To new teachers, I would say just to really use the support system that we have. We have a lot of really great support. Teachers are all so friendly and would want to help, so just be open to receiving that feedback and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Some things students can improve on to make teaching easier is to just realize that teachers and the things we are doing are just for their benefit. We already went through school, we don’t need to pass middle school anymore. All of this is for your own good and so instead of fighting, just kind of realize everything we are doing is for your own good and for your own future. We are here to help you, so please come to office hours, ask us questions, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. We are here just to help you and just stay on task in class. I know there is a lot of stuff going on outside of school, but this stuff is important.”