Ben is a sixth grade humanities teacher at Greenleaf and is in his sixth year. He worked in politics in his home state of Oregon and was able to see how policies were made and they affected people. Ben enjoyed the work but felt something was missing. After joining the staff at Fruitvale Elementary and later Greenleaf, he found what was missing, the relationships with students and the chance to be a positive influence in their lives.
Why public education?
Every child deserves equal opportunities, regardless of their background, but as we know, that’s not always the reality. Teaching gives me a chance to play at least a small part in addressing those historic inequalities, working to level the playing field for all students, creating agents for change who can and will stand up against injustice in our society.
Oakland is a vibrant and diverse community, with so much pride, and I instantly felt a connection to it. I want to have a positive impact on a community that I see is often at the forefront of innovation and change, pushing to make things better for everyone. We may not all agree on what those changes should be, but people in Oakland are not afraid to say what they think and stand up for justice, and engage in the debate.
What are your vices?
Bacon – I could easily eat an entire pack myself.