Meet Devin Walker
Devin Walker joined SFUSD Pathway to Teaching in 2019 as a Special Education teacher and Case Manager. Prior to joining the Pathway program, Devin worked in multiple industries, though he spent the majority of his career as a guide for various tour companies in San Francisco. Devin always knew that he wanted to be a teacher, but the time and financial commitments of earning a credential were daunting, especially in one of the most expensive cities in the world. He loved the teaching opportunities that tour guiding provided, but the tourism sector was volatile and unsustainable. However, in 2018, a friend and former coworker recruited Devin to become a Special Education Paraeducator at James Lick Middle School. With a foot in the district, Devin heard about the Pathway to Teaching program, and his new pathway forward became clear. Now, Devin is a fully credentialed Pathway graduate, teaching special education Biology and Health Ed. at Abraham Lincoln High School.
"I didn’t have the time or money to go back to school for an entire year, so the PSP worked great for my needs. It got me in the door, in a classroom, and learning the basics in only 6 weeks, and at a reasonable financial cost. I’m the type of person who learns more by watching and doing than by listening or reading. So, working directly with students under a master teacher during summer school was immensely helpful for my growth. While you can’t learn everything in one summer, I learned enough to hit the ground running in August. And, with the help of my amazing Pathway coach, Kahlila, the learning process continued for the rest of my first year in the program.
My proudest moment came at the beginning of my second year of teaching, during 2020’s Fall semester via distance learning. Upon returning to school, I received emails from multiple parents of my former students. They let me know that their children missed me and were very disappointed that I wasn’t their teacher again this year, especially since they couldn’t visit me in my classroom. While, of course, I don’t want my students to be down, I was proud that I had made such a positive impact. I informed them of my office hours on Zoom, and my students have visited me for every one since! Being a teacher is not solely about teaching. First, you must build positive and trusting relationships with your students. This proud experience has shown me that I’m doing something right."