Ms. Gardea: McAuliffe’s Newest Face


Source: Mona Taylor

Mr. Thomson and his student teacher, Ms. Gardea.

Mona Taylor, Staff Writer and Editor-in-Chief

Any eighth grade students who have Mr. Thomson for periods three to five know Ms. Gardea. She is a student teacher and the newest face on campus! You may have seen her observing Thomson, or, more recently, teaching three of his classes. I got the chance to sit down with Ms. Gardea and get to know more about why she is here.

Ashley Gardea is a former Los Al student herself! She went to Lee Elementary, McAuliffe Middle School, and eventually graduated from Los Alamitos High School. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach in 2018 and is getting her teaching credential in social science, which she hopes to teach at a middle school.

While in high school, Gardea had wanted to be a physical therapist. However, once she got to college, she realized that teaching was actually the right job for her. She said that growing up, she was always around teachers, considering that her mom is one. Gardea explained, “When I got to college I was like, you know what, I think this is the kind of path that I want to go down because I wanted to make a positive difference in people’s lives.” 

Furthermore, Gardea stated, ¨My mom is a teacher and so I’ve always been exposed to that kind of life.¨ She also expressed that she was inclined to teach people when she was younger, noting that she always liked helping people when in her classes. Additionally, she added, “I liked being able to help people figure those kinds of things out.”

Thomson is the teacher that Gardea is learning with and he couldn’t be happier with how she’s doing in the classroom. He commented, “So far, I think she’s doing a fantastic job. It’s a tough thing that she’s doing, to learn how to be a teacher.” He also noticed some of her standout traits: she’s eager, she responds well to criticism, she is very reflective about what she does each day, and she always tries to improve.

Gardea is already accustomed to life at McAuliffe, and she has been enjoying her time here. She explained that she feels confident in her choices to work towards becoming a teacher and emphasized, “I feel like I’m making the right decision. Like, just being in here with all you guys… feels right.”