HCS Changemaker: Ms. Alissa Beck
Congratulations to Ms. Alissa Beck, a seventh-grade civics and geography teacher at Chapman Middle School, who has been selected as an HCS Changemaker!
Ms. Beck attended multiple schools growing up and says that each school was quite different in regard to what was offered to students. She had a lot of great teacher examples along the way, but she also noticed that things weren’t always equitable from school to school. She knew by the eighth grade that she wanted to work in education and help level the playing field for students. Intending to begin a career working on educational policy, she realized in college that she needed that classroom experience first – and now she’s fallen in love with it.“She has so much excitement,” says Chapman Middle Principal Tenisha Cummings, “she loves bringing history to life for our students.” Ms. Beck can usually be seen greeting students as they first come in to her classroom and begin working on bell ringers. She often has them engaging in hands-on activities, such as creating revolutionary protest signs while studying the American Revolution. She works hard to relate historical events to the students’ current lives, before ending each class with a conversation about what they learned that day.
When she isn’t teaching, Ms. Beck likes to read nature books and other nonfiction. She enjoys going for walks and hikes, but sometimes she says it’s nice to just sit out on the porch as well. She is also a people person that spends a lot of time with family and friends hanging out, watching movies, or cooking together. She is also part of a fantasy football league and enjoys watching the football games on Sundays.
Every day, her students recite a quote Ms. Beck learned from a college professor: “Today, I will strive to be a respectful, responsible person with total self-sufficiency.” She says that her primary goal is for her students to achieve that type of self-empowerment, so that they will know they can work hard to overcome difficult challenges. “I want them to have confidence in themselves so they can speak their own truth,” she says.
The positive way in which she engages her students while encouraging them to participate is sure to accomplish such laudable goals while also making Ms. Beck an instrument of positive change for her students.