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Michelle Yi-Martin, 2021-22

Michelle Yi-Martin

When I was six, I would sit my younger cousin, Margaret, on the shag-carpeted floor of our grandmother’s bedroom with these explicit directions: “Now, pay attention. Today, you’ll be learning about syllables and how to make a cheese sandwich.” And thus, my teaching life began.

I began teaching Humanities in 2000 and teaching at SFS in 2006. My days as a Classical Studies major at Santa Clara University eventually led to graduate school at the University of San Francisco where I completed my master’s and Single Subject Credential in English. While at USF, I became active in the Teaching for Excellence and Social Justice program, which laid the foundation for critical pedagogy and transformative learning.

Growing up (still growing up) as a Korean immigrant in a large immigrant family is a history that shapes how I’ve become a life-long learner, why I appreciate each individual who dedicates his/her life to this “calling”, and WHO schools should represent - all people, all languages, all classes, and all family structures. The act of teaching and the institution of schooling is the most powerful form of social activism, and this, I carry with me each day at SFS.