Relocating to Houston and Finding a Mission at YES Prep

By John Ezaki, Algebra I Teacher, YES Prep East End

John Ezaki in the classroom

I didn’t expect to go into teaching at all, and I definitely didn’t expect to be teaching math. I was a biology major back in California and when I graduated I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do so I applied for Teach for America. That’s how I ended up moving across the country and teaching math in New Orleans for two years.

How I Arrived at YES

During my time teaching in New Orleans, some teachers and staff from my school visited YES Prep, as a school to learn from. The stories they shared about what they learned at YES Prep really inspired me. They mentioned that YES had a really high and rigorous bar of academic instruction and a ton of support for teachers. I loved the school I was at but when I decided to transition out, it was a no-brainer to look into YES.

YES Prep seemed to have a really strong foundation and amazing teachers who I could learn from and grow alongside with.

When I arrived, YES had their own way of doing things, as every school district does, but there was a lot of onboarding and professional development to make sure I got acclimated as quickly as possible. As for the staff, I can’t say enough! I came in and I immediately felt like I had a strong network of friends. This instant connection made moving to a brand new city a lot easier on me. I was part of a community of fellow young educators who were passionate about the same things I was and who I could socialize with outside of work.

Why Teach at YES

It’s amazing how much I’ve grown these past three years at YES Prep East End, and it’s thanks to the coaching that YES offers. Teachers are paired up with deans of instruction (DOI) who make sure you are staying on track with your action steps and are growing professionally. I’ve worked with the same DOI these past three years and I feel that’s been huge for me and my growth. I’ve been able to see myself master action steps and track my upward trajectory as an educator. I think about the things I’m working on today versus three years ago and it’s exciting to see how far I’ve come since then.

Everyone wants to be a successful educator because being successful means our kids are successful.

Getting that continual support, to make sure you are getting better, is paramount. Additionally, if you demonstrate you are an effective educator, there are accelerated career opportunities and compensation through the Teacher Continuum.

What Sets YES Prep Apart

What makes YES Prep so special is the commitment and focus on kids and their achievement. When I think about my favorite time of the year, I think about Senior Signing Day. On this day, thousands of students from the YES Prep campuses gather together to cheer on the graduating class of high school seniors and learn where each will be going to college.

That’s an emotional time because we, as teachers, can see how our hard work is paying off. We are giving kids more opportunities and paving the way to a promising future. This belief runs strong and deep in YES Prep, and that’s what sets it apart.

We all work incredibly hard because we are all on the same page. We are doing this for our kids because they deserve nothing less.

Join Our Mission

This is why I teach at YES Prep. If you are a hardworking teacher, someone who is excited and motivated to put in the hard work and excited to build transformative relationships with kids, you should teach at YES.

You are the perfect fit if you believe all kids deserve a great education, if you believe you are the right person for the job and if you believe the work you put in is worth it. Plus, if you are interested in being a great educator, there is no better place for professional development than YES.



YES Prep is currently hiring teachers for the 2019-2020 School Year. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of working for YES, click here.


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