YES Alumna turned YES Teacher – Impacting Lives Beyond the Four Walls of the Classroom

By Samantha Moreno – Math Teacher, YES Prep Southeast

Samantha Moreno

I am a teacher today because of my experience as a student at YES Prep. I feel so grateful for all of the opportunities I received as a YES Prep Southeast student. Not just the many doors they opened but also the school culture I experienced; it was very welcoming and diverse. I was inspired to become a teacher by seeing how our teachers would make an effort to build relationships with their students. I too wanted to have that type of impact on people’s lives. I wanted to connect with students in order to positively influence them, through their education but also beyond the four walls of the classroom.  


Growing up in a household of four, I knew I had to put my best foot forward because I knew my family wasn’t going to be able to afford pay for my higher education. I can still remember my senior year applying to colleges, trying to figure out where I was going to go, and worried about financial aid. Thankfully I received a full ride to Texas A&M through scholarships and grants. That was the biggest blessing!  

Not only was I the only one to graduate from high school but also college. To top it off, I got to attend a college that’s very well-known and respected. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without the help of my teachers and the opportunities that YES Prep provided me.  


Considering that I received my bachelor’s degree in community health, a question I often get is, “why did you decide on teaching? It has nothing to do with health.” When I graduated from college, I worked at a hospital doing a lot of administrative work and I grew tired of the day-to-day routine.  That’s when I decided to make a switch in my career and go into teaching. Fast forward to today, I’m three years in and there’s never a dull moment. There’s always something in the classroom that makes this job so exciting. Even after school, I love coaching my girls in volleyball. It’s a lot of fun, beyond the classroom, beyond the instruction. That’s what’s so valuable about the work I do, I get to build these relationships, these connections, and I get to see my students learn and grow.  


There is so much preparation that goes into teaching alone that YES Prep is here to help you every step of the way, whether you are straight out of college or transitioning careers like I did. YES provides so many professional development outlets and prepares you for your first day of instruction, which can be super nerve-wrecking, even if you’ve taught elsewhere, it’s still a new environment. They create this sense of warmth that I don’t think you’d get anywhere else.  

And I can’t say enough about the support you receive coming in through the Teaching Excellence (TE) program. TE does a great job at showing you and giving you the basics of what it’s like in the classroom. They give you all the resources you need: how to handle student behavior, how to handle lesson planning, how to handle accommodating the work for the students. There’s just so much that goes into teaching that they make sure you are set up for your training and you’re good to go on your first day of school.  


I have to say seeing my students come back every year is the most rewarding experience as a teacher. Not just coming back to school but coming back to visit with me when they’re no longer my students. This is my first year at Southeast but I still have students from Northside reaching out to me and telling me, “oh miss, I made it onto the cheerleading team, or I made it onto the varsity team, you should come to our games!” That warms my heart. It’s not just about the educational impact, “I learned this in math and now I know the Pythagorean Theorem.” It goes way beyond that.  

For many of my students, they want teachers to be a part of their lives. They spend so much time here, that teachers and staff become their family and they become family to us. It’s a huge investment from both parties (students and teachers alike) and I think that’s an amazing thing!  


Teaching is all about the impact a teacher has on students, in the classroom and beyond. If you want to have that impact in a student’s life, you need to be at YES Prep. We provide that for students, day in and day out, 100% every day, whatever it takes. We make sure that our students are prepared so that their future is a choice-filled one through college and beyond.  

Wholeheartedly, whether you are a student or a teacher, YES Prep is a great place to be! 


YES Prep Public Schools is currently looking for excellent teachers for the 2019-2020 school year. To learn more about the benefits and rewards you receive at YES Prep, please click here.

Ready to apply to teach at YES! Click here. 

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