MƒA MASTER TEACHER
Lyons Community School
# of years teaching
For Alana Burgos, her drive from teaching comes from seeing her students’ excitement and helping to push them out of their comfort zones. Before becoming a part of MƒA in 2015, Alana would attend professional development meetings at her school, but she often didn’t participate. Now as a two-time MƒA Master Teacher, Alana has pushed herself out of her own comfort zone, finding her voice and renewing her passion for the profession. “By being a part of MƒA, I’ve acknowledged that I do have much to say that is valuable and meaningful to my community. Being exposed to so much knowledge has helped me expand my practice and encouraged me to never stop learning and growing.”
Alana has made it her mission to revolutionize science education using two key reinforcements: representation and validation. “As a woman of color and a zoologist, it’s important that I am represented to my BIPOC students, so they, too, can see a career path for themselves. I push my students to put themselves out there and continue to learn, even if they think it’s not for them or if they don’t see anyone else like them,” Alana shares. “When a student feels like they belong, it can open so many doors for them.” As a high school biology teacher, Alana helps her students make sense of the world around them by using tangible resources to support her lessons. “Fieldwork is a great way for students to learn more about their city and the nature and animals that exist within it. It allows them to see their home through a different lens.”
Alana earned her B.S. in Zoology and her M.S. in Zoo and Aquarium Management from Michigan State University as well as her M.A. in Education from Brooklyn College. She is on the Teacher Advisory Council at the Bronx Zoo where she works alongside staff to create curriculum and partake in discussions about the changing needs of today’s teachers. Alana leads workshops at MƒA aimed at promoting teacher wellness, productive struggle in STEM, and culturally responsive teaching.