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Home of the Delta Kings

Stagg Online

Home of the Delta Kings

Stagg Online

Ethnic Studies teacher Torres helps students see their history

Cristapher Torres sits at his desk with group instructions for a Unity Clap. Torres uses the Unity Clap as a community builder and a way to ease and end the class on a good note.

Cristapher Torres is an Ethnic studies teacher who wants students to feel proud of their culture by looking into past accomplishments of said culture.

“I want my students to feel represented in their classes,” he said. 

At a young age, Torres felt that the school curriculum wasn’t representing his culture, which caused him to lose interest in school. Torres only regained interest when he joined his first class of ethnic studies in his first year of community college, where he started learning more about his ancestors history and culture.

Torres didn’t want current students to lose interest in school as well because of the lack of culture in the curriculum. So, in 2019, Torres would start to teach Ethnic studies and educate students about their historical heritage. Torres would go on and show his students that history could change your perspective in school.

“I started learning more about my ancestors history and culture and so the feeling that I felt once I started taking ethnic Studies classes is something that I want my students feeling as well, in terms of how their histories do matter.”

From then on, Torres has taught Mexican American studies, Ethnic Studies and will be teaching Indian American studies next year, which based on his joyful smile, one could say he was excited for.    

Once entering the classroom, it would seem that the students love the class. Some students were smiling, talking to their friends and others were working hard to finish their assignments. 

A lot of work that students are assigned in Ethnic Studies are about things that have happened to marginalized people and how they were dealt with or were resolved.

“Right now my students are working on learning about the school to prison pipeline and mass incarceration. The end of unit two assessment is coming up and so we will be taking a look at different forms of oppression, such as racism, sexism, xenophobia. The students will be getting into groups and exploring these different topics, and then they’re going to be presenting what they’ve learned to the class,” said Torres

Jayden Gutierrez, a student in Torres’s class, expressed his experience with Torres whole heartedly saying, “His teaching is very easy to understand and he is understanding towards the students. You know, he’s really, really nice. He’s not strict. The work he gives, it’s super easy and he really appreciates his students and what they do in his class. He definitely cares about his students and wants them to pass.”

Torres talks about some of the best parts of teaching, “My favorite part of teaching is the excitement of seeing my students and hearing them when they come back, and they tell me that my classes had an impact on them in a positive way. I often get students who tell me that they’ve gone on to college and have been inspired to take either additional ethnic Studies classes or classes or careers that would lead them to make positive change in our community. Hearing those types of things, I think it shows that despite the struggles that teachers often face in the classroom, it’s always worth it.” 

Torres is a very positive teacher who cares about his students, their education and their future. He is the role model every student should have and will have if they join his Ethnic studies, Mexican American History or the upcoming Native Indian American History class in the fall of 2023. 

Something that Torres would like everyone to know is that you should live your life following your dreams and making good choices.

“Well, I think that just make good choices, follow your dreams, do what you enjoy and I think do your best, and you can accomplish anything as long as you’re doing your best and you’re loving what you do.” said Torres.

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  • J

    Justina VasquezApr 26, 2023 at 5:30 pm

    I think to have his students focused and interested in learning is a giant plus. Students/ kids now days life is so different, society is a challenge alone. Some only need that one caring person to listen to them and understand. To have a teacher great as Mr. Torres is a blessing. Congratulations in your accomplishments with all these young students. Great Job!

  • S

    Stella SernaApr 25, 2023 at 1:35 am

    Wow. I’m so proud of you for chasing your dreams, and keeping our culture alive. Not just in the classroom, but in your personal life as well.