This month we celebrate one year of Community Teachers of Los Angeles! CTLA is a support system for aspiring and current teachers and educators who seek to provide a socially just, transformative, and community-centered education and led by Kid City Alumni. Alumna and intern, Kimberly Sanchez writes about what CTLA means to her and her endeavors of being a teacher!

A group photo of CTLA members in Summer 2020

I can’t recall how I came to find out about CTLA, but I am glad I did. Community Teachers for Los Angeles (CTLA) is a “support system for young teachers and educators who call Los Angeles their home community and seek to provide a socially just, transformative, and community-centered education”. This past year sucked. I'm sure there's a much more eloquent way of expressing this, but nothing beats the simplicity of saying that this pandemic just sucked. I particularly found the transition to online learning difficult. I missed the friends I made in college and I missed exploring different places with them. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of isolation. I missed that sense of community. 
I found community with CTLA. I want to be a Social Science teacher. I hated history in high school though. It was taught from a Eurocentric perspective and it was boring. Without surprise, I got a bad grade in the class. I learned to love history again and am currently a History major, Education minor at UCSC. I often think about how and why I want to teach history. I think about all the people who have guided me and provided support. I think about theory. I think about action and I think about community. CTLA provided me with the space to continue thinking about these things. I was happy to be surrounded by people who also thought about these things--who pushed me to reflect and learn. That's what CTLA means to me. It is a non-judgmental place to learn and to unlearn. I remember the topic of unlearning being  something we talked about and it was very insightful. We read passages from Pedagogy of the Oppressed and we were often given space to talk about the world around us. What I love about CTLA is that we worked through the uncertainty together. I think that’s what CTLA means the most. It means hope. I often get discouraged by the world around me. Yet, everytime I log on to a CTLA meeting, I feel happy. There are people who want to do social justice work and who are doing so--sharing their knowledge with one another.