A product of New York City public schools, Jvon Alexander is a 4th-year special education teacher currently working at Urban Assembly Maker Academy. Jvon was born in Trinidad and Tobago but moved to Brooklyn, New York in the third grade.
His educational experience, particularly at his high school Benjamin Banneker Academy, where he had wonderful caring teachers, helped shape his future dreams of being a teacher. He would go on to graduate from Brooklyn College for undergrad and attend grad school at Teachers College, where he received his M.A. and certification in special education. As a special education teacher Jvon has co-taught several sections of English, Global History, and Gov't and Econ for 9th through 12th grade.
I am starting my 4th year of teaching this year and have taught across various subjects and grade levels in high school. A large part of my teaching philosophy is to build open, respectful, and trusting relationships with my students and colleagues. I like to emphasize building rapport and incorporating social-emotional learning into daily lessons and my office hours to ensure my students feel safe and comfortable and, therefore, can learn most effectively.
One of my goals as a teacher is to be the teacher I wish I had had when I was growing up. To be that teacher, I try to be approachable and supportive of my students by getting to know them as a whole person and not solely as a student in my classroom. I recognize that my students have a life outside my classroom and the challenges they might face outside the school building.
When I'm not teaching, I enjoy cooking, listening and dancing to music, watching movies, going on adventures/exploring, doing art (mostly collages lately), and most importantly- spending time with family and friends.
Judy has taught English Language Arts (ELA) and English as a New Language (ENL) at the secondary level, mostly high school, for the past nine years. Although dually certified as an ELA and ENL teacher, she has also co-taught global history.
Judy works with newly immigrated English Language Learners (ELLs), students who were former ELLs, and native English speakers. She enjoys working collaboratively with colleagues to support students because she remembers the challenges of being a second-generation student with immigrant parents and navigating the New York public schools. For the last five years, she has worked in a large high school in a suburb of New York.
A career-changer and former banker, Judy admits that being a teacher is the most rewarding and challenging job she has ever held. Although she has spent most of the last nine years as a classroom teacher, her past educational experiences have included being an ENL department chair. She is also a current secondary summer school assistant principal, which provides her with a broader perspective on what it takes to support students when I step into the classroom.
As an alumna of the TR@TC program, she holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English from Cornell University, a Master in Business Administration (MBA) in Management and Marketing from NYU’s Stern School of Business, as well as a Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS), along with her Master of Arts (MA) in TESOL from Teachers College.
In her spare time, Judy loves to spend time watching movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe with her children, reading, and eating carb-heavy meals.
Chelsea Martinez is a humanities and STEM teacher at The Young Women’s Leadership School of the Bronx. She received her associate’s degree in Liberal Arts from the Borough of Manhattan Community College, then earned her Bachelor’s in English/Literature from the City College of New York. During her residency at TR@TC, she earned dual certification in Students with Disabilities 7-12 and ELA 7-12.
Before becoming an educator, she worked in the hospitality industry for over 11 years. Growing up, Chelsea knew she wanted to become an educator when she met her first-grade teacher, Ms. McCormack. Ms. McCormack not only had a positive and loving relationship with Chelsea but with her family as well. Because of Ms. McCormack, Chelsea has always wanted to provide the sense of support that Ms. McCormack gave her.
Chelsea is a firm believer in the phrase “it takes a village” and always felt that it would be an honor to be a part of her students’ team -- every one of them. She wants her students to know that they are so loved and supported, that they’re not alone in their journey, and that they are capable of making change and achieving anything they set their minds to. When Chelsea’s students leave her classroom, Chelsea wants them to remember that she genuinely cared, had high expectations, and wholeheartedly believed in them. Every morning she promises to show up fully because that is the very least our kids deserve.
I attended SUNY Binghamton, where I majored in Philosophy, Politics & Law with a concentration in Economics. I began my educational journey here at Teachers College, with a degree in Economics & Education, which I leveraged towards a career in investment management, where I worked for four years.
The Stock Market Crash of 2008 was a blessing in disguise and prompted me to re-evaluate my career, which allowed me to enroll in the first TR@TC Cohort. After spending time teaching in the Bronx and East Harlem, I was given the opportunity to teach at the same middle school that I attended as a student.
Currently, I teach 7th-grade math and 7th and 8th-grade Virtual Enterprise. In this elective business course, I can leverage my past experiences working in finance, all while allowing students to develop and manage a business from the ground up. During my free time I love to travel, spend time with my cats, and am an avid sneaker collector.