She will work with senior leadership at the Department of Education on citywide policies and programs.

“I have high expectations for my students, and the work is rigorous,” says Yadira Hans ’11, ’17 M.S., who earned a bachelor’s Childhood Education and a master’s in Childhood Mathematics Education at Brooklyn College. “I teach them to be responsible and take pride in their work, and that having grit is important. My delivery of these ideas, however, is compassionate and patient. I know that an environment of trust and care is essential.”

Her approach works. Hans was one of 17 educators chosen from a pool of 7,100 nominees to receive a Big Apple Award, which recognizes New York City teachers who “inspire students; model great teaching; and enrich their school communities.”

In addition to her responsibilities at P.S. 249, the Caton School in Prospect Park South, she will work with senior leadership at the Department of Education on citywide policies and programs; consult with other educators on teaching practices; and take part in unique leadership experiences.

“Yadira is very passionate about education and helping all students learn,” says April Bedford, Dean of the School of Education. “Typically, students majoring in Childhood Education, do not choose to specialize in the teaching of math. The fact that Yadira chose this program reveals her willingness to undertake a rigorous graduate program.” Ninety percent of students in Hans’ fourth-grade class are multilingual learners. Last year, she created YouTube videos for both parents and students to help them in preparing for exams.

“My time at Brooklyn College taught me valuable lessons,” says Hans. “The fieldwork and student teaching allowed me to get to know different schools in the city, and this motivated me even more because I realized that our city schools were in need of more teachers that represented the student population.”

Some of Hans’ ambition comes from experience as a first-generation Mexican-American immigrant. “We lived paycheck to paycheck, always fearful of what would come next in immigration policies,” she says. “My parents worked tirelessly to be able to afford immigration lawyers that would secure their permanent residency in this country. Every year my students face similar struggles, and every year I remind them that education is key. Self-efficacy and dedication to their education will help drive their future.”