Expeditionary Learning School

Brenda Cisneros

Brenda Cisneros's picture
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About Me
What inspired you to get into the field of education?: 

You never know where school assignments can lead you!  In 6th grade we were supposed to find a career that we found interesting, interview a professional in that field, and write a report on our findings.  At a loss for what to do, I interviewed the teacher of my friend's little sister who had special needs.  The rest, as they say, is history.  I found that I loved teaching!

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?: 

The most rewarding part of my job is the "aha moment"--that moment a face lights up in understanding or when a learner realizes that they just accomplished something that he/she didn't know they were capable of doing.

General background information (years in education, degree(s), Universities/Colleges attended): 

Over the years, I have taught a wide range of age groups, ability levels, and subject matter.  My jobs have included teaching students who have ranged in age from kindergarten to twenty-one, who were typical learners (is there really such a thing?),  learners who struggle with various subjects from the basic academic core to those who struggle with basic living skills, and learners who learn English as a second language along with their academic core subjects.  From working with such a diverse group of students, I have found myself teaching most subject matters in some form or another.  

I received a Bachelor's of Arts degree from the University of Wyoming with a double major in elementary education and special education in 1986.  In 2010, I received my Master's degree in Cultural Diversity and Educational Equity from the University of Colorado, Boulder.  When I do the math, I am shocked at how many years I have been in the field of education--and have probably learned the most from all of the students that I have been fortunate enough to teach.   

Currently, I am enjoying the challenge of teaching Integrated Services (special education).  My favorite part of this job is building strong relationships with my students and their families.


In my free time, I love spending time with my family!  My husband, Randy, also a Polaris teacher, and I have a blended family of three girls; all adults now, with only one still in college.

When I am not busy with family things, if I were to look at my interests in terms of what I spend my time reading and thinking about, one of my biggest interests is how to become a better teacher! Right now I am interested in the effects of teaching emotional intelligence in combination with the academic core classes.  

Outside of "work", I love to run, do yoga, cook good food, read, knit, travel, and listen to good music.

Thought Provoking Quote: 

If you don't like the way the world is, you change it. You have an obligation to change it. You just do it one step at a time.

Marian Wright Edelman