December 2, 2015

Teachers Talk Back: Dea Inguito

Dea Inguito is in her ninth year of teaching and is currently teaching third grade at Aspire Huntington Park. In this conversation with E4E-Los Angeles Outreach Director Claire Blide, Dea talks about her experience with UCLA’s I’m Going to College program.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Claire Blide (CB): Why did you become a teacher?

Dea Inguito (DI): In college I was a sociology major and most sociology majors become grad students. So I thought I would go to graduate school. However, in my senior year of college I began mentoring students in San Francisco and noticed that I looked forward to it more than my classes. The teacher I worked with taught all day and was so passionate that she stayed late to teach bilingual students at night. Her passion was contagious.

CB: How has that passion translated into your current work with your students?

DI: I’m part of the UCLA’s I’m Going to College program. At least once a year I take my third graders to a college football game. Last year, we went to the UCLA vs. UC Berkeley game which was really fun because my partner teacher is an alum of UCLA and I went to Cal. Our students got into our rivalry and were given shirts so that they could dress up in support.

Through this program my students were also pen pals with the UCLA volleyball team. They received letters from the players and wrote letters back. After exchanging letters they were invited to attend a volleyball game. It was fun to see them get really excited whenever their player was called over the loud speaker. After the game they tried to get any and everything signed by their player.

CB: Why are these kinds of experiences important for students?

CB: These kinds of experiences are so important because they show my students that college is not all about tests. These kinds of experiences also give me credit and help students get an understanding of why I am asking them to work so hard and what is ahead.

CB: Why did you decide to join E4E?

DI: E4E is such a great way to feel like we can make a difference beyond our kids. E4E allows teachers to collaborate outside of just your school. Especially with the new Common Core standards, it is nice to see what other people are saying and what is happening policy wise.