New teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Rivera


Amanda Hirschfeld, Editor

“It’s chaos; be kind”. These very words are permanently engraved on current 8th-grade English teacher, Mrs. Rivera’s, forearm. They are words to live and constantly be inspired by. The importance of it: a life philosophy that guides the young teacher through every good and bad day. For first-year teachers, it is often a hassle to gain the respect of students. Sometimes continuous misbehavior and consistent murmurs over your lectures is the norm, but the contrary has proven to be true for the 30-year-old newcomer, Rivera. Any person lucky enough to endure even the most simplistic conversation with this woman would be quick to agree she is outstanding. From her modernistic take on giving lessons to her ability to unapologetically engage your point of view in a conversation is astonishing, a gift that not many students have the opportunity to witness. Students are automatically drawn in by the balance between hard work and collaboration offered in Rivera’s classroom.

Mrs. Rivera came to Cypress Creek from a full-time career managing a law firm. Studying English in college and having a vibrant passion for books, it was inevitable that she ended up teaching literature. “What I do has to have a purpose, there is nothing more fulfilling than a job that allows me to make a difference”, remarks Rivera. Prior to this school year, she never really saw herself teaching students at her young age, but after years of toying with the idea she came to the realization; the only way to implement change is to actively take part in the growth of our youth. “Middle school happens to be the age when children are not only learning who they are as individuals but what the world truly is about at the same time, with this mindset as a versatile teacher comes catastrophic guidance and results”.

Rivera encourages her students to ‘Write what you want to write’, any style, any genre, anytime, anywhere, anything. The world is desperate for individuals who can think for themselves and have passion within their interests. The more guidance on innovation, the better.

“No matter what anyone tells you, words and ideas can change the world”

-Dead poets society

No matter what anyone tells you, words and ideas can change the world”

— Dead Poets Society

School is evolving, teaching isn’t just in the classroom, “kids need to know that as your teacher, I’m here for you, to help you succeed, to watch you grow, to catch you when you fall…The teaching isn’t done when a student walks out the door, we influence every student all the time, simply by being around them”. Nothing is guaranteed, our time is finite, what is our legacy? The world needs more educated, moral people. “I NEED to contribute, get students excited! Find the right things to help others and meet kids halfway”, Rivera reflects.

Jillian Rivera stepped up to the plate in hosting our first ever Ted X public speaking competition this year. Students were able to apply accumulated English standards to their own unique independent viewpoints. Rivera pointed out how the event builds student confidence, presenting is not an easy task, “competitors are on fire for what they’re talking about, we’re excited to send our first ever batch of kids off to districts!”. The dedication and effort JR put into organizing effective communication in hosting the event is applaudable.

Jillian Rivera will be teaching both Advanced Placement Literature and Creative Writing for the fall semester, 2018. Our campus is truly lucky to have such an assiduous, hardworking, dedicated teacher at Cypress Creek Middle High School.