Paula Rodriguez
ELA (English Language Arts) Teacher, Broward County Public Schools

Courtesy?of a non-linear, non-traditional path, Paula Rodriguez currently serves as a high school English Language Arts teacher in Broward County. Raised on the small island of Okinawa with ties to her local family and the American military community, she developed ideals that reflect a combination of both cultures. Her early and mid-twenties were spent navigating life as a military spouse, facing the challenges of parenthood and finally earning a degree in English (with a minor in Women's Studies). Paula is now a five-year-long resident of South Florida where she desires to continue amplifying the voices of students, teaching with empathy and cultural sensitivity as well as addressing educational equity.?

One important aspect of Paula's teaching philosophy is that students should be taught how to think, not what to think. She believes that teaching should be, in part, a conversation, and that students should be encouraged to reflect on their education, the world around them and the roles they, as individuals, play. Furthermore, Paula firmly believes that many young people want to be agents of change, but are often unsure of the change they can affect. Also an adviser for multiple after-school clubs, she challenges students to take advantages of and create opportunities to better their communities.Paula is also a member of the Broward Young Democrats, a precinct leader in Palm Beach County and works as a freelance writer for a local magazine.