Jacklyn Escamilla

Jacklyn N. Escamilla, M.A.T. 2020

English Language Arts, Intrinsic Schools-Belmont Campus

“When I first started at my school in 2020, I started off as one of the MS ELA pod teachers developing new curriculum and revising an old one however, I am proud to say that for the past 2 years, I have been happily leading our school's strongest and most decorated team, 7th grade, which consists of 13 teachers who I have had the pleasure of sharing all of my experience with and learning from. 

Other things I do besides teaching and leadership using the education I received from NEIU is creating meaningful staff PDs on DEI related topics, serving on our Academic Council, and creating and facilitating staff circles. 

Getting my Secondary Education Masters Degree from NEIU has been life changing for me and has allowed me to grow professionally and personally over the past few years as an educator. All of the course work I did at NEIU still continues to help me to this day from creating detailed and differentiated lesson plans/materials, using and trying new technology in class, implementing reading and writing strategies to increase rigor and student engagement, and creating a learning environment where students can be productive and feel safe, valued, and heard.

TEACHER HACK--The teacher life at times can be stressful so always remember to give yourself some grace and what you are doing everyday is helping to change someone's life for the better so it's all worth it in the end!”


Irving Hernandez

Irving Hernandez, M.A.T. 2021

Science, Niles North High School

"As a third-year teacher I still feel like a student as there is so much to learn from other educators around me. Even while being in class at NEIU I felt like I was learning so much from my classmates as we were all soon to be teachers that are from various backgrounds in education. I knew I was in the right school when I realized I was surrounded by classmates who have the same passion in education as I did. The professors that we came across as a cohort were valuable as they carried so much experience and wisdom that made us even more excited to start our chapter of becoming educators.

To complete my M.A.T. in Secondary Science Physics with my advisor Dr. Colak's support from day one until now as a teacher is a blessing. To have a powerful community like the Noyce Scholars program at NEIU that consists of other awesome mentors, as well, is a lottery win.

After seeing the power in collaboration, I was able to create a professional development community for physics teachers that I named F.I.S.I.C.A. (Further Improving Science Instruction in Chicago Altogether) that included a two day event filled with educators from various high schools and universities ready to not just or the future of Chicago students.

As a First Generation Mexican - American from the Belmont - Cragin Neighborhood I understood the importance of education since attending Foreman High School. A school that I aim to return to serve as my duty in life is to empower my community through science education by building bridges with my bare hands that are known as: curriculum, instruction, and tons of love. I aim to demonstrate to students how to value their education as there is a purpose in learning as it will open opportunities for them to one day to reach their happiness in life as they are able to take on whichever career path they seek. For this same reason is why I continue to feel like a student coming out of NEIU as every day I wake up with purpose - I do it all for my students.

Teaching does require a lot of sacrifice as your mind, body, and soul (also patience) will be placed in a series of challenges that may seem never ending. This can feel never-ending until you get to see your own students grow and witness them walk across the stage. As an educator you need to stay strong for these students no matter how difficult life may be personally. I say that because students are facing other challenges in life that we may never understand but that doesn't mean we can’t be there for them with a massive amount of love. What is the essence of education? Nothing but Love. 

TEACHER HACK– I always tell my students… “Focus on the learning… and passing will happen naturally.”
For student teachers or soon - to - be teachers, “Focus on the practice… and teaching will happen naturally.”