Ms. Lopez is an 8th grade Social Studies teacher at Asheville Middle School. She has been teaching for 5 years at AMS and 10 years total. Ms. Lopez grew up in between Miami and Puerto Rico. She has 2 kids, Luna Indria Liu-Lopez, who is 2 and a half, and Leandro Aureliano, who is 1 and a half. Ms. Lopez is certified to teach Social Studies and ELA, but she loves teaching Social Studies because it helps students become aware and fight against the injustices in the world. “It has become abundantly clear that the people of this country need to be aware of the choices being made for them.” Ms. Lopez went on to say “To quote George Carlin, “If you have selfish ignorant citizens then you are going to have selfish ignorant leaders””.
Ms. Lopez’s goal is for her students to be well educated and full of empathy. In Ms. Lopez’s class, they are doing a project called Americans who tell the truth. Students will pick a social issue and a person involved with that issue. Students will then create a short essay and an art piece to go along with the social issue. The Art will be shown at the downtown “Americans who tell the truth” exhibit. Bree Newsome, a civil rights activist, will be there for the opening of the exhibit. All 8th grade social studies classes are participating in the same event. Ms. Lopez is hoping that her students will become active citizens themselves, and learn that one has to put in the work and effort to make an issue change. She wants to start a revolution of social change that will make the world a better place.
Ms. Lopez used to work for Fox Sports and while she was on a mission trip to Cuba, the leader of the trip asked her what she wanted to do in life. Ms. Lopez said that she had no idea. "Have you ever showed interest in teaching?" The leader asked. Ms. Lopez had a quick response of no, I have never shown much interest in kids. While she was in Cuba, Ms. Lopez got to meet all of the kids, hang out with them and teach them, but they ended up teaching her. She realized that she loved to teach and hang out with kids, so as soon as she got back, she quit her job at Fox Sports and started teaching. Ms. Lopez says “I have never looked back on my decision to become a teacher”.
Ms. Lopez’s favorite teaching moment is when, about 2 years ago, she got an email from a former student of hers. Ms. Lopez says “The student was incredibly smart but sadly had a difficult home situation”. In the email, the student explained to her that she had just received a full scholarship to Brown University and she wanted to thank Ms. Lopez for a lesson that she taught about feminism. The student said that she was now majoring in Women's studies. The student said that the lesson had changed her. Ms. Lopez says “A teacher's goal at the end of the day should be to teach their students to be aware and ask questions, they must question everything.”
Story by Kate Buys