Junior year – arguably the most important year of high school. We take the ACT, are introduced to AP classes, and with the end in sight, we start realizing that we better get our grades up and figure out life. Up until this week, five junior English classes at Sahuaro missed out on having a consistent teacher in their classroom, forced to do lots of worksheets and busy work, with little to no interaction or discussions. Finally, a permanent teacher has been hired and Sahuaro would like to welcome new English teacher Roberto Martinez. This is Mr. Martinez’s first year as a full-time teacher, having earned his subject matter expert (SME) certification and hired full time at Sahuaro this past December. “Teaching, it was a dream realized for me,” he said. “I didn’t even have an idea about teaching as a career until this last April.”
Martinez was born and raised a native Tucsonan, having graduated from the University of Arizona in 1997 with a creative writing major and political science minor. “Writing has come easy to me since I was in grade school. For a while, I even considered going into journalism. I got my feet wet at Pima Community College and wrote a few articles for the Daily Star.” Mr. Martinez worked at a call center for ten years in the customer service industry before discovering his passion for teaching. His work as a substitute over the last few years is what really drove him to pursue education as a career. Starting off as a PE substitute, Martinez says that his students taught him to be more “compassionate and empathic” while he adjusted to the attitude of current day students. “The substitute experience is what led me to want to further my career, and now I hope this is what I get to do until I retire.”
In his free time, Mr. Martinez enjoys reading and working out. “I love books. I often borrow them from the library, they’re just a wealth of information.” Martinez also works out about five times a week and attests that it does a tremendous amount of good for his health and mind.
“My goal for this semester is teaching my students to read, write, and speak well by the end of the school year. Not only do I want to share my English expertise, but I also want to give them real world work.” When asked what he’s anticipating the most, Martinez’s response was “I’m looking forward to helping my students succeed.” We here at the Paper Cut would like to wish Mr. Martinez luck on his new journey as a fellow Cougar.