Chasmin is an Oakland native and proud educator for Oakland Unified School District. She is in her fifth year teaching 4th grade at Reach Academy.
Why public education?
I am passionate about public education because OUSD raised me. I remember catching AC Transit from the flat lands to the hills to attend Montera Middle School and Skyline High School because my parents felt that my neighborhood schools wouldn’t adequately serve me. The twenty minute rides always seemed to go in slow motion as I watched dirty sidewalks turn into spotless street corners and potholes turn into smooth paved streets as we got higher to the top of Oakland. Those bus rides from home to school showed me that within short proximities there were major differences and inequities in my city. Students in Oakland are still experiencing the same bus ride ten years later. Quality public schools should be accessible in every neighborhood and all parents should feel confident in sending their child(ren) to their neighborhood schools.
Favorite quote and why?
My students and I recite Mahatma Gandhi’s quote every morning: “We often become what we believe ourselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn’t have it in the beginning.” I love this quote because it embeds confidence and courage in us. It helps us to persevere through challenges and adversities.