Meet Annalie Andrade (she/hers), a first-year, third-grade teacher at Figueroa Street Elementary. We spoke recently about her start in teaching and her connection to the school. Read more below.

Annalie’s teaching journey has been a long-time coming, especially her placement at Figueroa Street Elementary School. She lives in the community and is an alum of the school, having attended from 2nd-5th grade. In 2019, she returned to the school as a teacher’s assistant (TA), and three years later, in 2022, Annalie became an instructional aide for transitional kindergarten and a long-term substitute teacher. Now, she is a full-time teacher excited to start the new school year. “I have a lot of history with the school. It is home to me,” she said. 

 Annalie shared that as a TA, she enjoyed seeing and helping students succeed. “Seeing their improvement and accomplishing their goals was something I enjoyed and it energized me,” she stated. It was her experiences as a TA and all her previous roles that led Annalie to become a teacher. “It showed me that I wanted to be a teacher for the long run,” she expressed.

 Annalie’s motivational spark comes from seeing her younger siblings thrive. She commends all their teachers for the educational development and growth she has seen in her siblings, all of which also attended Figueroa. “Being a part of the school is a family affair,” she said. “My twin sister also works at Figueroa as an instructional aide.”

 As a first-year teacher, Annalie is most excited about managing her own classroom and getting to know all her students. She was always in and out of classrooms in her previous roles and didn’t necessarily have control over setup or instruction. She is also excited about making an impact on students as a teacher using the experience she gained as a TA. 

 Annalie credits three people at Figueroa Street Elementary as instrumental parts of her teaching journey.

Francisco Sanchez, now the assistant principal at Figueroa Street, was Annalie’s 4th-grade teacher. She remembers when Mr. Sanchez sat down with his students during recess and checked in with them and how much she appreciated that small gesture. Growing up, Annalie had a hard time spelling words, and remembers how Mr. Sanchez helped her learn how to spell Christmas. “I never forgot to spell that word,” she said with a chuckle. Annalie is excited to see her journey come full circle and now work alongside Mr. Sanchez. “He’s seen me grow up … Figueroa is the gift that keeps on giving,” she said. “How I remember my teachers is how I want my students to remember me.”

She is also thrilled to be working with her former second-grade teacher also named Francisco Sanchez, now a 3rd-grade teacher at Figueroa. Annalie said he also made an impact on her learning. She looks forward to being a part of the same teacher group level as he and continued learning from him. 

Finally, she is grateful to Shawn Peyatt, the school principal, who allowed her to be a part of the Figueroa family. Annalie said, “She has taught me to be a better person and to always grow from my mistakes.”

To her fellow new teachers, she shared, “It’s okay to be nervous. We’re all a bit nervous. Remain patient because as we’re learning, students are learning as well. Have fun with teaching and learning because our students come first. Their education highly depends on who you are.” Annalie hopes to gain more knowledge and understanding of what teaching is like. She says her teaching philosophy is that with the energy and effort she puts into teaching, students also put into their learning.