Teacher Spotlight – December 2019

Meet Ms. Astrid Martinez | 6th Grade Science Teacher | KIPP DC Northeast Academy

Ms. Astrid Martinez is a sixth grade Science teacher at KIPP DC Northeast Academy and December’s Teacher Spotlight! Ms. Martinez joined KIPP DC in 2016 as a Resident in the Capital Teaching Residency after graduating from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with a degree in French. Her passion for teaching dates back much earlier, as she recalls having a strong interest in Science as a child. “I remember wanting to be a meteorologist, an astronaut, or a doctor. I just always remember being interested in Science. But I also remember being a kid and playing teacher and alternating roles between teacher and student.”

Like many recent college graduates figuring out their next steps, the decision to join the Capital Teaching Residency came at critical juncture. Having also been on a pre-med educational track at Franklin and Marshall College, she entertained the idea of entering medical school right out of college. “Leaving college, I wasn’t quite sure if I was ready for that jump, so why not explore something I’m also passionate in? I entertained the idea of joining Teach for America, but was attracted to the gradual release and support provided to educators through the Capital Teaching Residency.”

Looking back on Ms. Martinez joining KIPP DC as a Resident a few years ago, to now at the helm of her own classroom, she enjoys making personal connections with her students while making lessons come to life.

Ms. Martinez Instructing

“I remember discussion we were having in class where I split them up into two sides to argue what comes first in plants, photosynthesis or sexual reproduction,” she recalled. “And watching not just how passionate or animated their arguments were, but how reasoned and sound they were was really special for me. Seeing that type of engagement, excitement, and growth is what keeps me driven.”

Another aspect of teaching that has a personal connection to Ms. Martinez is the ability to connect meaningfully and support students at a time where they are transitioning out of childhood and into their teenage years. “I think at first I saw myself teaching high school, but I feel like I’m working with the perfect age group. I enjoy that there’s still that bit of child-like wonder in them that leaves as students get older, and I’m always learning from them and their different perspectives.”

Outside of her role as sixth grade Science teacher, Ms. Martinez also coaches Northeast Academy’s robotics team. “What I love most about the robotics team is that it’s not just exposing students to building a robot or STEM concepts, but also other soft skills that will help them in the future like teamwork, leadership, and communication skills.”

A good Science experiment is fueled by discovery and growth, not unlike Ms. Martinez’s journey from Resident to lead teacher. As students at Northeast Academy continue their own journeys of discovery and growth, they are supported along the way by teachers like Ms. Martinez.

Ms. Martinez instructing

Learn more about the Capital Teaching Residency or apply to be a lead teacher today!


Posted on December 19, 2019 in Community