#WeAreSFUSD: Suzann Baldwin

Suzann Baldwin, Spanish Teacher - Abraham Lincoln High School

Suzann was recently recognized by her colleagues as a RAVE award winner for her many years of dedication to her students and the SFUSD community. Her heartfelt acceptance speech is below.

"Superintendent Matthews, members of the board, thank you for this extraordinary recognition. 

I want to start by thanking those who nominated me for this award and those who wrote the letters of support. I highly recommend that you continue recognizing the work that teachers do in our district.

I would like to dedicate this award to my fellow teachers, who yesterday started  on the biggest challenge of their teaching careers. It has been inspiring to see my colleagues rise up to the occasion: staff email threads extending into the horizon, sleepless nights trying to figure out how all of this is going to work, listening to colleagues cry on the phone, endless hours on chats, educator social media pages, video conferencing; all devoted to imagining a new way teaching, because it’s what we do. I have never been more proud to be in this profession. 

I also want to dedicate this award to our students, who are engaging in this endeavor overcoming impossible odds. Last week, I helped a newcomer student with very limited English skills  set up her district issued laptop. In and out of the shaky, grainy frame little children came and went, interrupting with questions and demands, while the tv blasted in the background. And yet, she persevered, and after many, many tries she was able to set it up and access her district account.

Parents are also heroes in these trying times we are living. I cannot even imagine the worry and sleepless nights they must be going through with their children at home, financial woes, and uncertain future.

To our students and parents, we are here for you, we are not going to abandon you. As a teacher, I have always believed that equity and justice meant being the best possible teacher I could be for my students. To work hard for them, to show them respect that way. I plan to continue in this spirit during this special period. 

So I leave you with Dr. Seuss modified verses:

I will teach you in a room
I will teach you now on zoom

I will teach you in a house
I will teach you with my mouse

I will teach here or there
I will teach you because I care.

Thank you."


#WeAreSFUSD shares real stories about our students, staff, leaders, and families with the community of San Francisco. Take a glimpse into the lives of the people who makeup SFUSD, and learn how SFUSD core values to be student-centered, fearless, united, and to support social justice and diversity leads the work every day in our schools.