Yasmín Garves came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic during her adolescence. Adjusting to a new country and learning a new language was challenging, but she had a Spanish teacher who was very supportive and who encouraged her to do her best. “[This teacher] inspired me. When I saw her, I saw that there was opportunity to make a change,” she said. She did not know she wanted to become a teacher herself, but she knew she wanted to help and serve others. That is why she decided to pursue her bachelor’s in Spanish and secondary Spanish education at The City College, which she completed in 2009. She then continued for her master’s in Spanish literature and simultaneously started teaching at a public high school. Later, she went on to earn a second master’s in school building leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she was recognized with the Best School Design Award in 2021.
Ms. Garves is currently teaching Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Literature courses remotely for the New York City Department of Education through a program that offers these courses to students who would otherwise not have access to them. For her excellent work, she earned the Advanced Placement for All Outstanding Spanish Teacher Award in 2019. This award is given by the chancellor of the New York City Department of Education.
From 2019 to 2021, Ms. Garves served as Grade Content Team Leader. “For two years, many people would come to my classroom to observe what I do, and then later I would debrief with them and they would ask me questions. The first year was in person because that was before the pandemic. I would have five or six people in my classroom. And then remotely, I would open my classroom to 10-12 people, including administrators,” she explains. She was nominated for the Model Teacher Award by the New York City Department of Education.
Ms. Garves also teaches undergraduate and graduate secondary Spanish education courses as an adjunct lecturer. When asked to describe this experience, she said, “It is basically teaching all the new paradigms of teaching and learning, new strategies for teachers and their importance. To be a teacher is not just to teach, it is also how do you teach and what is your purpose.” She added that teachers have to “make students fall in love with what they need to learn, not just to graduate, but to become global citizens, to understand life.”
As if being a full-time teacher and an adjunct lecturer were not enough, Ms. Garves is currently pursuing a doctorate degree at Universidad Pablo de Olavide in Spain. She will start working on her dissertation in June of this year.
Last Updated: 06/01/2022 15:31