Blake Hernandez: Hitting the ground running
Blake Hernandez of Electra Junior/Senior High had a goal: get to the end of his college program quickly. The fastest route ended up being education. To his surprise, Blake found himself at home in a classroom, naturally caring for his students and wanting to be the best teacher possible.
Teaching was always Blake Hernandez’s backup plan. The only problem with that? Blake didn’t have a first plan and it’s lucky for his students that he didn’t! At just 22 years old, Blake is in the unique situation of being only a handful of years older than some of his students. While that helps him to relate to his students (and allows him to keep pace with TikTok trends), it’s been a lesson in confidence and classroom management. “I found last year – this is my second year – that I did not have much of a voice in my classroom,” said Blake. Coming into his second year, his students notice a difference, and so does he. “I have confidence that […] it’s going to be fine.”
The biggest difference between year one and two, according to Blake, is the use of an attention signal. By getting everyone to clap after a three count, Blake can quickly and easily regain his class's attention. That doesn’t mean his classroom is rigid though. Innovatively, Blake tapes out parallel lines and transversals on the floor, and has his students jump to the correct angle relationships. Not contained to just his classroom, Blake has his students moving about the school to illustrate the Pythagorean theorem. The more advanced students aren’t limited to one floor; they have a three-dimensional challenge, mapping out the Pythagorean theorem on multiple floors of the building.
Maybe you won’t use the Pythagorean theorem every day in your adulthood, but you will need financial literacy. Blake has pioneered a financial math program, making math practical and teaching his kids how to budget, understand taxes, and invest well, among other things. In only his second year, Blake is making strides as an educator and innovator.