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Kevin Sparks

My role at BBIS:

IB MYP Personal Projects Coordinator and Secondary School Teacher of EAL

When did you join BBIS?

February 2021

What is your background?

After graduating from college, I worked for two years as an assistant at a literary agency in New York. Even though I loved working with writers, I quickly realized I was not cut out for the publishing industry. I started teaching when I moved to Oakland, California in 2009, and that's what I've been doing ever since.

What inspires you in your professional role?

I'm inspired by people and movements that build something out of nothing - whether it's activism, skate culture, DIY arts scenes, etc. It's incredible how collectives can essentially invent a culture with minimal resources, or effect massive social change outside traditional power structures. The fact that these movements are generally driven by young people reminds me of their creativity, resourcefulness, and energy: this is what I try to tap into and develop when I'm teaching.

What are you passionate about?

Music: Ever since middle school, I've always collected records, played in bands, and been involved in the local scenes where I live. I love that BBIS gives students so many opportunities to learn about, make, and enjoy music.

What makes BBIS special?

A lot of schools talk about inclusion, but the staff and students at BBIS are seriously committed to building a more inclusive community. I see this commitment every day as a part of the Student Support Services team, where I get to work alongside incredibly caring, creative, and hard-working teachers and counselors. I also see this commitment in the work of student groups like the Social Justice Committee, the GSA, and the Sunflower Club. When I compare what the school was like when I first started (not that long ago!) with what it's like now, I am blown away by how much progress has been made in making the school a place where everyone is valued and given opportunities to grow.