“My parents always, always told me that school was important and because I kept hearing that it made believe it and I do believe it still to this day”

A photo of the teacher David Aleman.
A photo of the teacher David Aleman.

Mr. Aleman is a math teacher at Animo Jefferson and his parents helped him in college and with his future. 

His college years helped him find out who he was and the goals he wanted to achieve, but then he went a different direction at the end.

His family helped him to get through tough times and also always supported him when he needed it. 

He overcame struggles and stresses when becoming a teacher that he still thinks about it.

He always thinks that even though tough times come that he shouldn’t worry about it, and still remembers the lessons from his parents.



Brandon Acosta: Alright so do you have anyone in your life that impacted you.
David Aleman: Um the person in my life that’s impacted me a lot, were well people were my mom and my dad they helped me kind of, you know do my best and try work as hard as I can in school that way I can you know be successful in my life and just meet my goals so they really impacted me. They’ve always been there they’ve always helped me out and they’ve always supported me with anything I needed to help me especially when I was in college. Cuz in college I needed a lot of help from my parents, I needed help for paying for things and doing stuff so they were there for me a lot.
BA: Would you say they were the main reason you’re here?
DA: Ya I think so, my parents were always always told me that school was important and because I kept hearing that it made believe it and I do believe it still to this day that school is important and because you need to learn, you have a lot to learn and it’s going to help you with jobs and a college and a future especially when you’re taking classes in college [sniff]. Um but ya to answer your question yes.
BA: I I So I can talk to you right uh I could like go up to you talk do you have anyone in your life you could just go and talk to.
DA: Mh when I was in school like like a teacher.
BA: Like anyone –
DA: Anyone .
BA: Like uh like an adult.
DA: You know what I did, cuz I wasn’t to comfortable talking to my parents about like anything like so a different adult I had was someone I, I met when my parents…We would go to church there was this adult going there his name was George and he was always there, like kind of like you know helping us out and he was he was very understandable, he understood us, and so we we like he like we hang out with him and he like take us places and stuff and then you know he was some I could always talk to and ask for questions ask for help as well if I didn’t have my parents around [sniff] uh.
BA: What was the happiest moment in your life.
DA: My happiest moment I think so far right now was when I graduated college the first time, uh when I graduated college at UCSB all my family came through, my parents, my siblings, my aunt, my uncle my gram-ma gram-pa I got all like parts, both sides of my family from my dad’s side and my mom’s side they came to Santa Barbara, they all, they all drove over here and they all came to see me graduate and it was a very happy moment to see them feel so happy and exited for me, so that definitely one of my happiest moments.
BA: Did you feel you accomplished something when you graduated?
DA: Yo ya of course cuz it was, I was one of the first people in my family to be to graduate from college, so none of my parents, my siblings haven’t graduated yet, I was the first to graduate and also from my from outside of my family, like my cousins and my uncles and aunts, I was one of the first to graduate from college so, I think I was the first one so it was really ya I felt like I accomplished something like the first. Of like of our family just like just accomplishing college as well cuz that’s a hard thing to do and, it was a great experience.
BA: Well alright uh, uh so do you have any anyone else in like your life that like did something to help you.
DA: Mh well I guess uh my teachers when I was in school they um, my counselor most cuz my counselor in high school, they always, um I was always able to ask them for help for how to apply to colleges what classes to take and just anything I was like curious about like, like after graduating high school like jobs or anything in what I can do, and my counselor always encouraged me – to apply for college so that was probably the one reasons why I ended up going to college because of my counselor, they were like kind of like motivating me, supporting me, and in our school at our high school we took time during the school day to apply for colleges and we had like college readiness classes so basically we had everything we needed to, to apply so it was very easy to and I was able to you know attend some colleges.
BA: You’re a teacher right now but before what was like your dream job.
DA: Well the earliest dream job I had as a kid was being a firefighter. I was I always thought about being one just cuz I thought it was cool to ride the red truck you know and help people and help like you know save their homes or anything that was burning um but ya that was one of my first dreams being a firefighter.
BA: Uh what was one of your biggest struggles like in life … .
DA: Uh biggest struggles I think one of the biggest struggles was graduating college a second time cuz when I graduated college the first time I took, I was taking art classes and I was like doing -.
DA: Um struggles ya going to college a second time to be a teacher cuz when I graduated college the first time I, I went for like art an art degree like digital media art but when I went to college a second time I, I was going to be a teacher and it was a lot there was a lot of tests I had to take, a lot essays to complete, a lot of work in a, it was very, I struggled a lot because I was also teaching at this school at the same time so I had to be a teacher and grade and plan lessons and do my school work, college work so it was a lot and I was stressed out a lot. I gained a lot of weight and I just didn’t have time for myself so I felt very like depressed and very low, it was like a low point in, in my life but after completing everything I feel much better now and I don’t feel to stressed out and I can focus on just being a teacher instead of being a student.
BA: Do you feel like it still haunts you, the college part.
DA: Um I think so because I think about going back to school but I don’t want to go back to school if I have to be a teacher at the same time cuz. I have to pay for college right, it costs money, so I do have to work and it’s very challenging cuz lot of the stuff you do um, as a teacher you do at home as well like there’s a lot of work to do so sometimes I’m at home in my living room and I’m grading papers or I’m looking at a lesson that I’m doing tomorrow so uh it takes a lot of time. So ya I think it still haunts me I don’t know if I want to go back to school but I do have a a goal to be like a vice principal or an assistant principal one of these days and that requires me to go back to school so um I’m still thinking about it you know.
BA: Uh well would you say that, that was something you would want to do again if you had the chance.
DA: To go to school.
BA: Ya.
DA: Ya [not hearable] if I didn’t have to work you know like if I was able to pay for college without having to work at the same time I think it was something I would do again. Like when I went to college the first time at UC Senna Barbra um I didn’t have to work I was just a student I was living in the dorms there, I did get a job but it was a student job so it wasn’t that so it wasn’t that many hours and I only worked like maybe four hours, uh like every other day so it was pretty chill and I still had time to study and do my do my school work uh like that part of college ya I would love to do that again, I think it was fun it was a great way to learn new things you can take any classes you want um you can meet lots of new people.
BA: You think you learned more about yourself.
DA: While I was in college. 
BA: Ya.
DA: Uh I think I did, I learned that I wasn’t as organized as I thought I was and that the way studied or the way I was reading or studying for school um wasn’t like the best way to study, also learned like who I am as a person like things that I like no don’t like I was able to be more open cuz when I was in high school, I was a little bit more shy kind of quiet and but when I got to college I had to be open, I had to open up I had to stand up for myself and talk and like just make friends and just kind of um be more outgoing so then people get to know me cuz, um I wouldn’t have made as many friends if I did, if I was kind of quiet or shy to myself.
BA: Alright, aright, aright so uh [not hearable] did your parents ever tell you something that you still look on to this day.
DA: Um, you know I cant think of one of the top of my head right now, but something they would tell me um is just to like not to worry and what I mean by that, that when I was a kid I was always a kid who worried a lot I would get upset because something didn’t go the right way or I didn’t know what was going to happen I was a very like um emotional kid like I would get upset or I get sad really quickly so um my parents always told me hey don’t worry about it hey it happened like put that in the past lets move on lets fix it and I think that how I live life right now to this day like I try not to worry about all these little things I try to take it one step at a time and then learn from mistakes, if I made a mistake um hey like that you know it happened it’s just best to move on trier try like learn from that and then grow from that. So don’t worry is what they always would tell me don’t worry be happy [giggles] that’s how my dad would say it and it really helps in a in a funny way um it does really work and sometimes , sometimes you do worry about to much to many things and you over stress about thing when you don’t need to. Um there’s ways there’s solutions for it so don’t worry it all be figured out eventually.
BA: Do you think do you think you were a handful as a kid or like a-.
DA: [Giggles] um I don”t may I don”t know my parents said not really but I remember in middle school I was being a I was I would miss misbehave I was a handful in middle school to my teachers but not really to my parents. At school I was I ‘d acted different then I did when I was at home with my parents I was I was more respectful and listened to the adults at home when I’m with my parents but when I was in school I was a little disrespectful sometimes but once my parents found out huh and an my teachers called my parents, um I got in trouble and so I stopped huh but other than that I think that was the only I was a handful like during middle school like in seventh grade ya.
BA: Oh well that interesting.
DA: Huh ya I know not all people don’t expect that but it happened but now just you know I don’t I didn’t do it again and I know better now.
BA: Is there like a past memory that like like you cherish?
DA: A past memory that I cherish um I think being a passing those tests to become a teacher cuz I had those test it was really challenging it was like this math test that had like college level math and you had to know how to do it even though you don’t teach it like I teach seventh grade and sixth grade level math right or eighth grade so anyway um um that was like uh the question was a happy moment. 
BA: Ya.
DA: Ya like something a moment I cherish because it was just very challenging and once I once I was able to pass the test and I got result it made being a teacher much easier cuz that’s the only thing that was holding me back so I was able to apply, and I was able to start working as a teacher um as soon after that so it was a it was, a relief and I was also very happy about it cuz that means I could continue with my goals. 
BA: Aright, was this the first school you applied to or is it like a different one.
DA: This actually was the first school I applied to. I went to a Green Dot high school and so when I decided to start applying for schools to work at I thought hey I’ma apply to Green Dot so you apply to the Green dot uh district and then they they send you um to a school to do an interview in and they sent me here and so I did an interview and then I, I did a lesson with students. Uh in Ms. Tovmasyan ‘s class back back when she used to be here ya uh so I went in there and I did a lesson and it went well and they gave me the job and I said ya. 
BA: Aright, aright, aright I think that’s all for me.
DA: Aright, well thanks Brandon. 
BA: Thank you. 
DA: Ya of course.
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  • E

    erickOct 13, 2023 at 11:05 am

    This is very inspirational because education is important.

  • M

    MarcoOct 13, 2023 at 10:58 am

    Good thing he had a supportive family.

  • F

    FrankOct 13, 2023 at 10:55 am

    Mr. Aleman is a great guy.

  • F

    Fatima GonzalezOct 13, 2023 at 10:52 am

    I didn’t know Mr. Aleman had a struggle in highschool because he is a math teacher (he is also very smart)

  • A

    andersonOct 12, 2023 at 1:16 pm

    W interview