Chicago Public Schools Educator | Illinois TESOL-Bilingual Education Vice-President | Instructional Coach and Mentor
Alyssa Silva-Rafi is an educator for Chicago Public Schools. Alyssa teaches 4th grade in a pre-k through 8th-grade school that serves a diverse population of families. Her passion lies in working with and advocating for multilingual students (English Language Learners.) Last year, she developed a school-wide initiative to address the needs of newcomers to her school. This initiative, Supporting Multilingual Learners, was one of 20 in the United States chosen for the Teach to Lead Summit, where she and her committee traveled to Atlanta to work with the US Dept of Education to further the initiative’s impact.
Outside the classroom, Alyssa works toward her Ph.D. in Leadership/Curriculum and Instruction at Concordia University. Alyssa also serves as a virtual instructional coach and building mentor through Chicago’s Teachers Union and WE Care Mentoring Program, supporting first- and second-year teachers of color. She is active in ITBE-BE (Illinois Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages/Bilingual Education) and was elected Vice President and Convention Chair. Through ITBE, she often represents Illinois at the TESOL International Policy Summit on Capitol Hill.
Alyssa received a Special Recognition Award as a 2023 Those Who Excel; Teacher of the Year award from the Illinois State Board of Education. Lastly, she was a contributing author for Hispanic Stars Rising: Volume IV, featuring stories of Hispanic professionals in various fields making a difference in communities nationwide.
What inspires you about the impact of Latino Changemakers that you see all over the US?
I firmly believe that seeing is believing! Latino changemakers inspire me every day with their unwavering determination. Across all sectors in the US, I see them using their powerful voices to ensure that our community is heard and seen. Witnessing the positive movement and its impact on our youth firsthand, I am proud as an educator. My classroom is a space where I take immense pleasure in sharing the stories of these positive role models with the next generation of changemakers. As Latinos, we have the power to convene and unite our community, which makes me confident about Latino Progress. Together, we can uplift and inspire one another with our unique stories. We can move forward knowing we have each other’s support. We must continue doing the work; the next generation is watching us now!