ELK GROVE, Calif. — Talia Chapman-Martin is the ABC10 Teacher of the Month for November 2020.
Talia is a teacher at Monterey Trail High School in Elk Grove. We asked her a few questions to get a better understanding of how she educates and inspires her students.
Q: How long have you been teaching?
Chapman-Martin: Sixteen years at Edward Harris Jr. Middle School and Monterey Trail High School in the Elk Grove Unified School District (7-12 grade).
Q: Who was your favorite teacher growing up?
Chapman-Martin: Hmmm, I had a lot of favorites. I remember my teachers every year since kindergarten. I think my favorites were the teachers that made an impact in my life beyond school. Leanne Ward was my peer counseling and health teacher and she taught us such valuable skills about interpersonal communication, kindness, equity, and advocacy for all.
The skills I learned in her class I still use to this day. Also, Lisa Fales was my 5th-grade teacher. She taught us life skills about working through challenges, being true to yourself, and honesty. So many things we learn as students is not just about content, like Math and Science but about life. Content is important too, but who we are and our character is what can carry us to the next level.
Q: What's your favorite student success story?
Chapman-Martin: Keeping in touch with students and learning about their life adventures is an honor. So many of my students have gone on to be professionals, attend college, become parents, work in entertainment, and education. I am so proud of all of them. They are my people!
Q: What advice do you have for the future teachers of America?
Chapman-Martin: Being an educator is an incredible journey. You have the opportunity to impact humanity every single day. You can show kindness, bring empathy, and impact young lives and teach them subjects that you are passionate about. There are not a lot of careers where we get to make this kind of systemic change.
Q: What advice do you have for parents?
Chapman-Martin: As a mama myself, I get it. We value parents, we know the struggle, especially now during this time. We are your advocates, your partners, and are here to support your students in their education. Our job as educators is so impacted by what the parents do at home. I like to think of our parents as our partners in education. We can bring your children to bigger places together.