By RICARDO RAMOS
Alan Perez was a late bloomer when it came to deciding to become a teacher. He wanted to go directly into working as a truck driver his senior year, but his Spanish teacher motivated him to push himself, compelling Perez to apply for college.
Perez’s Spanish teacher, Alcaraz, proceeded to walk him step-by-step through the college application process. During Perez’s second year in college, he realized that the feeling of having someone believe in him felt so great that he wanted to do the same for his students.
Perez received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California of Riverside and his teaching credentials from California State University San Bernardino. He now has been teaching at Citrus Valley High School for three years.
Perez states that his students’ achievements motivate him every day, and he has come to a realization that when he has had bad days it’s because he felt like he “failed the student’s in creating a lesson that could make them learn or improve.”
Perez feels fortunate to be surrounded by great teachers and always have them in the back of his head when teaching because he feels like he needs to reach their level. He seems to be accomplishing this each and every day according to Citrus Valley Junior David Huynh. “If you ever need help on anything [Perez] will help you out. If you need anything, he’ll go out of his way and take time out of his day for you,” Huynh stated.
Being a teacher was not even close to what Perez wanted to do in high school. The fear of even talking in front of people made it the last thing he wanted to do as a job, but in college, his outlook shifted.
The thing Perez enjoys most about teaching is the constant need for improvement. Perez left his job at Ross warehouses because he was doing the same thing every day. He states that he has “the opportunity to change and do things differently every day” when he teaches.
Perez says that the most difficult part of his job is the early mornings, which he thinks he struggles more with than the students in a class. That is why he “relies on his choco-mil to give him the strength to conquer the day.” Perez believes if he was not a World History teacher or AP United States History teacher he would very likely be a Physical Educator. He does not think he would teach anything else.
Though Perez did not always aspire to become a high school teacher, he has since “impressed the veteran staff with his work ethic, his commitment to developing modern lesson plans and his connection with his students,” according to Mead, a World and the United States History teacher at Citrus Valley.
Perez’s favorite quote that motivates him to do his job is, “Be humble, be hungry and always be the hardest worker in the room.” Perez tries his best so that his students can learn and improve. Because of this, Mead also adds that “new and veteran teachers should strive to teach like Mr. Perez.”
Perez loves his job and the students, who motivate him to be better and improve as a teacher. Overall, Perez does his job not for himself but for the students.