Christian J. Rubalcaba
5th Grade Writing Teacher in San Jose, CA
Christian J. Rubalcaba leads 5th grade classes as a Writing Teacher at Selma Olinder Elementary School (a TK-5th school) in the San Jose Unified School District. Christian entered the classroom rather unconventionally: once poised to pursue law school and simultaneously earn a doctorate in history, attendance to a number of events and speeches at the Harvard Graduate School of Education allured his attention, a moral awakening, which thus compelled him to plunge into the education sector via Teach for America in 2010. Guided by a blazing urge to serve Latino school communities and armed with a passion to stir the minds of young ones, Christian—or “Mr. R” as many of his students endearingly call him—has shared his love for poetry, literature, history, speech, law, and the written word since then. Christian believes in the power of parent engagement to help mold socially and civic-minded students and, effectively, he utilizes this very conviction as his impetus to visit the homes of all his students during the first month of each school year, in a classroom program dubbed “Mr. R’s Home-to-School Connection.” Furthermore, Christian serves as a representative on his school’s Leadership Team, as a voting member on his district’s Voluntary Integration Plan (VIP) committee that advises the Board of Education, and as a BTSA coach for entering new teachers. He has been nominated for Teacher of the Year Award the past four consecutive years. A Chicago native and Harvard graduate, Christian received his bilingual teaching credential from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA in 2011 and continues to work toward earning his National Board Certification through a National Board support group at nearby Stanford University.
Why do you teach? I teach because the multifaceted nature of an educator’s role, especially in an urban school setting: I can become a positive catalyst and exact change in a variety of ways, not only as an educator, but also as a school-parent liaison, as a community leader, as a college adviser, and as a role model, to name a few.
What do you love about teaching? I love teaching because of the direct and daily opportunity I have in empowering, inspiring, and challenging students.
When you were a student, was there a great teacher who inspired you? Yes; I vividly remember one of my high school AP Calculus teachers, Mrs. Delaney–a rare human being–who cared wildly about her students and taught with an uncommon brand of passion.