SXU Alumna Aims to Be Teacher for Positive Change
Saint Xavier University (SXU) alumna Jennifer Ramirez '23 is making her mark as Mount Carmel High School's newest English teacher.
Ramirez, who is the youngest teacher at Mount Carmel and completed her student teaching at the institution, has always known she wanted to be a teacher. Inspired by her own high school English teacher and after developing a love for reading and writing, studying secondary education and English at SXU was a natural fit for her.
"Education is something I have been passionate about from a young age. Being a teacher for me means being able to make positive change. I enjoy being a resource for students and helping them navigate their academic careers," said Ramirez.
While student teaching at Mount Carmel, Ramirez realized the importance of providing students with a safe space and seeks to prioritize their mental health. Now, she teaches sophomore and senior English at the high school and carefully chooses meaningful texts that students can connect to for her courses.
"With my sophomores, we'll be starting 'Breathing Underwater,' which is focused on domestic and relationship violence and toxicity. With my seniors, I'm excited to start 'The Heat You Give.' It’s a relevant and important book. I want to ensure the books my students read are culturally diverse," said Ramirez.
At Mount Carmel, Ramirez is also the moderator for a video game club and an assistant moderator for a multicultural club. She looks forward to exposing her students to diverse cultures.
Ramirez is a first-generation student. She appreciated how affordable SXU is and was grateful for the generous scholarships she received. She felt well-prepared to begin her career as a teacher.
"The classes I had were great, especially the one focused on young adult literature, which helped me pick some of the books in my syllabus. I also had a great professor in Dr. [Aisha] Karim, whose classes were on the tougher side but pushed me to want to do better and ultimately come up with lesson planning that will help my students think analytically," said Ramirez.
Ramirez enjoyed having open-ended discussions in her classes and believes that SXU taught her to think critically. While at SXU, she was also part of the TRIO program.
In the future, Ramirez plans to attend grad school and is interested in pursuing a degree in educational administration to take on a leadership position.