Meet Mrs. Ayala

April 9, 1991

“I taught the math lesson, and I thought I did very well. I went up there, and I taught them graphing. My feelings weren’t sure about myself, and I learned one thing: I know it’s not easy planning a lesson.” Excerpt from the Journal Entries of 13-year-old Adrienne Hernandez (Ayala)~Published in the Winter Panorama, California State University San Bernardino

After reading the above excerpt, I would have to say that education has been one of my passions since I was 13 years old. In junior high, I was an active member of the Future Teacher Club, a program that exposed Latino students to the profession of teaching. In high school, I was part of an internship program which was a school-to-work program partnered with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and San Bernardino Valley College. This program was designed to encourage students to choose a career in law enforcement. This program led to a part-time job while attending the University of Redlands. As a public service employee, I worked with high school students on Saturdays. As an assistant instructor, I assisted in teaching classes such as police report writing, cultural diversity, and physical agility. My involvement in public education provided me an opportunity to be part of a round table discussion with President Clinton in 1995 at San Bernardino Valley College, where we discussed education and the development of internships.

I have been working in education for over 15 years. After earning my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Redlands in 2000, I worked as a Teacher in Training for Rialto Unified. During that time, I had the opportunity to teach all grades K-5. In 2004, I completed my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Masters in Education from Azusa Pacific University. In 2005, I married my husband, Arnie, an educator, and in 2009, I became a stay-at-home mom.

In January 2013, I was hired as a part-time Online Independent Study Teacher in the Redlands Unified School District. What a fabulous experience! I established relationships with students and made a difference in their lives more personally than I was as a classroom teacher. I always seek new ways to improve my teaching skills. Becoming an Online/Blended Teacher is a different experience than teaching in a traditional classroom. In August 2013, I completed my Leading Edge Certification Course and became a certified online teacher. I’m excited to be a part of cutting-edge innovations such as Blended Learning.

When I think about my work in education and why I do it… It’s for many reasons. I want to make a difference in students’ lives and encourage them to want to make the world a better place. I want to provide opportunities for students, opportunities that weren’t provided for me when I was a student.

Helping students discover how they learn is something I am very passionate about because of my own learning experiences in school. When I was attending the University of Redlands, I met a woman named Judy Bowman, who worked in Academic Services. She took me under her wing, and after explaining my frustrations with some of my studies, we discovered I had a specific learning disability.

That was a relief because I used to go to my teachers and tell them I’m studying so hard, yet I earned a C/D on the test. I had such a strong work ethic as a student that it wasn’t apparent to my teachers that it could be due to a learning disability.

If the University of Redlands had judged me by my test scores, I wouldn’t have been admitted. Schooling has been my life’s work, and I strive to reach each of my students every day. I went into education because I wanted to make a difference in students’ lives and instill in them a love of learning. It is my hope that I can help students discover their own passion. No student is the same, and we all have different needs, and at eAcademy, I’m able to develop those relationships with students and families and build on students’ strengths. I strive to do this with my own son and daughter. They are very different academically and their academic paths are not the same. I’m grateful to realize this, and it is my hope that I can provide tools to both students and parents to make their educational experience the best possible.

It was these children who helped me discover that I loved teaching in the elementary setting.