Honoring Eduardo Lopez


Eduardo Lopez

 High School Social Science Teacher

Los Angeles, CA

Eduardo Lopez was born and raised in a single parent Mexican immigrant household in Los Angeles, California. The unrelenting work ethic instilled by his mother carried him to college. He is a two-time UCLA alumnus, graduating with both a Bachelor of Arts in History, minor in Political Science, and a Masters of Arts in Education. For the past decade he has taught at Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School (RHS), located in East Los Angeles. He is a National Board Certified Teacher and Social Science educator. Currently, Mr. Lopez teaches 11th grade A.P. U.S. History, U.S. History, and a 9th-12th grade all male ethnic studies course. Early in his profession, Eduardo realized that in order to have a lasting impact on students he needed to form partnerships that went beyond the four walls of his classroom. He served as a fellow at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education, Council of Youth Researchers (CYR) where he worked alongside professors, graduate students, community activists, parents, and students dedicated to addressing educational inequities in schools and communities throughout the city. The CYR created opportunities for youth to develop community-based critical research projects, write research papers, and deliver presentations to audiences of university faculty, community activists, parents, and elected officials, offering them the space to have their powerful voices heard. This passion for transformative education is also evident in his work as an Education Consultant with the Social Justice Learning Institute where he instructs its Urban Scholar Compadres (“brotherhood”) program, a program aimed at increasing the academic and personal success of young men of color at RHS and throughout Los Angeles. In 2014, he was honored by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, as 1 of 25 educators in the Los Angeles Unified School District, to receive the 1st annual Inspirational Teacher award for his dedication to empower young Latino males. Additionally, in 2010, Mr. Lopez was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Study Fellowship to Morocco and in 2012, selected to travel to China as a Freeman Foundation Fellow. Of his many accolades two more worth noting are his interviews given in Spanish for both La Opinión (a Spanish-language Los Angeles daily newspaper) and HispanTV, (a Spanish-language news channel) where Eduardo stressed that as we prepare students to become global citizens we need to acknowledge and applaud the linguistic capital our bilingual youth bring from home as an asset and not a hindrance to our schools and country.

Why do you teach?

  • I teach to inspire and be inspired
  • I teach to foster caring relationships with students and parents
  • I teach to provide a culturally relevant humanizing experience for all students
  • I teach to share in the victories and pains of life alongside my students
  • I teach to work collectively with students to audaciously hope for a better tomorrow
  • Lastly, I teach because this is my calling in life

What do you love about teaching?

I genuinely love being in the classroom with my students. Engaging in meaningful discussions/lessons is key in sustaining lifelong learners.   Every single day presents a new opportunity to serve the youth. The energy and ideas they bring I liken to jazz, where improvisation occurs daily in every class period. This creation of rhythmic knowledge fills both mind and soul and I am an equal with all my students.

When you were a student, was there a great teacher who inspired you?

I was blessed to have a few inspirational teachers throughout my schooling experience but the one that stands out the most was my high school science teacher, Mr. Limón. As an adolescent developing my identity, I yearned to learn about my Latino heritage and the only educator who found creative ways to incorporate cultural connections to his lessons was Mr. Limón. Gracias to him I became a proud Chicano.