In 2000, A Group Of Parents From Silicon Valley Asked:


Sergio Quinones

Sergio Quinones

College: UC Berkeley
Hometown: San Jose, CA

Major: Sociology

Professional Goal: high school math teacher

WHO WE ARE • TEACHERS » Sergio Quinones

How has the Summit's Tutoring Corps prepared you for a career in education?

A position with the Summit Tutoring Corps entails embracing various roles - roles that teachers embrace in their daily teaching practice. These roles- tutoring a group of students, supervising students during structured work time, tracking student progress, being a liaison, and being a teaching assistant - help us develop our classroom management skills, our ability to create a positive classroom culture, our ability to communicate effectively, and our ability to better anticipate classroom distractions. In developing these skills, we become better equipped to enter the educator field.

Though, one of the greatest aspect of the role is that we were not tasked with developing these skills independently; we were supported and guided throughout the year by someone with extensive education knowledge and experience. This support comes in the form of weekly professional development, where we hones in on an educator skill by reviewing relevant literature and practicing in a controlled environment, and weekly check-ins, where we collaborate to develop strategies for areas of growth.

Why Summit's Tutoring Corps?

The primary factors that contributed to my decision to apply to the program were the innovative educational model, the prospect of earning my teaching credential through the program, and the opportunity to return to San Jose.

The Summit Public School Network educational model strives to prepare students for the dynamic workplace and provide students with a personalized academic curriculum, such that each student can learn at their own pace. The school’s focus on developing the habits of successes that will enable students to succeed in an academic and professional environment, and these habits are practiced when they work towards preparing for their assessments or completing a project. Additionally, our schools deviate from the content centered traditional education model, instead using the content to develop student cognitive skills in application-based course projects. I believe that this model better prepares students for the workforce, and upon hearing about their model, I wanted to determine how to incorporate their model into my instructional practice.

During my collegiate experience, I understood that I still needed to earn my credential to be qualified to teach. My options were earning the credential through a master’s program or through a residency program. I opted for the residency experience because I wanted the more hands-on approach to learning the trade, and through the Tutoring Corps experience, I have been able to learn more about educational theory, as many of the teachers discuss various theoretical lenses and provide their personal experiences.

My parents instilled in me a deep seated respect for community. From an early age, they would tell me that my successes were not achieved in isolation, as my actions were largely influenced by those in my network. With this understanding, I came to appreciate all those that helped me along my educational journey, and I felt that it was my duty to return the favor. In my mind, there was only one place for me to begin my educational career, and I was pleased to find an education focused program in San Jose, CA-  my place of birth.

What has been the highlight of your year in Summit's Tutoring Corps?

There is no single moment that I would define as THE highlight of my experience. I find this experience rewarding. I look forward to coming to school every day because I know I will learn something new. I thoroughly enjoy the community built within the school and the relationships built with the students.

How has your work at Summit changed the way you view education?

Students want to know that they have allies and that adults believe in them. As valuable as an education model is, building relationships with students and letting them know they can be successful is the most important aspect of my role. On days when I find myself struggling to connect with a student, I just think back to elementary school, where my teacher prominently hung a brightly colored poster that read, “they may forget what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.” I keep this in mind to understand the effect of my actions, and I will continue to do so.

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