SDSU Imperial Valley graduate earns inaugural Outstanding Student Teacher Award

Christian Jimenez, a Calexico native, began his teaching and recently completed the teaching credential program at SDSU Imperial Valley.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024
SDSU Imperial Valley dean and staff join Christian Jimenez for a photograph.
Christian Jimenez (second to the left) was recognized as Outstanding Student Teacher for fall 2023, one of the first students to receive the award.

Christian Jimenez, a recent graduate of SDSU Imperial Valley’s teaching credential program, didn’t initially think he would go into a career in education.

“I worked and studied full-time during my undergraduate years,” said Jimenez. “Once I began working with students, it confirmed for me that this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to help set a foundation for students to pursue their education goals.”

Jimenez enrolled at SDSU Imperial Valley as a first-year student in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies. He is now one of two students awarded the fall 2023 Outstanding Student Teacher Award, an inaugural recognition from SDSU Imperial Valley’s Division of Education for students who have completed the university’s teaching credential program. 

SDSU Imperial Valley’s Division of Education has graduated thousands of local educators in Imperial Valley, further strengthening the local education workforce. 

The teaching credential program’s classes are designed to train students to be culturally aware and prepared to support students who are early English language learners. 

“We know from the start that many of our students may be Spanish speakers only,” said Jimenez. “The program teaches and challenges you to understand the experiences of your students and be prepared to support them academically.”

The division also connects dozens of credentialed students with local schools as part of their student teacher training. Once they are admitted into a school, the students are connected with staff and teachers who provide mentorship in lesson planning and portfolio preparation. 

During his last semester, Jimenez became a student teacher at Meadows Union School in El Centro, where he taught eighth grade students. 

“The support and mentorship I received from my guide teacher and our principal made such a great impact throughout the semester,” said Jimenez. “I could not be any more grateful and appreciative of their support. It made me feel like I belong there.”

As a multiple-subject graduate, Jimenez is now prepared to teach elementary school students. 

“My experience as a student teacher opened my eyes more to the impact teachers have on their students and how they can change the lives of children,” said Jimenez. “I did not expect to win the award, but I am excited and grateful for the mentorship I’ve received at SDSU Imperial Valley and Meadows Union School.” 

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