Welcome to Raychel Israel's Page!
HI there! Thanks for visiting my page. My name is Raychel Israel and I've been teaching at Hillside Elementary for going on 7 years. Before that, I studied at Stanford University where I received my Masters degree in Elementary Teaching. I spent two years teaching in Los Angeles prior to that.
I grew up in Los Angeles but I now call Northern California home. I absolutely love it here! The weather, the beautiful surroundings, the diversity, the food, and the down-to-earth people. I especially love the wonderful Hillside community. It has truly been a pleasure getting to know so many wonderful, beautiful students and families during my time here at Hillside. I am honored and grateful to be a part of this community.
As an educator I believe my job is not just to teach reading, writing, math, science and traditional academics, but also to help empower students so that they leave my class with an understanding that their voices and actions are capable of making real change in this world. I encourage all types of activism, but feel racial equity & justice, and climate change are two of the most pressing issues our community and society at large are grappling with. Both of these play a large role in the everyday learnings with my students.
Along these lines, I am aware of the work I must do as a white woman to actively dismantle oppressive systems of white supremacy and systemic racism at school, to push back against "best instructional practices" that are rooted in a white understanding of what's "best", to make our classrooms and the school campus a place where our Black, Indigenous, and Students of Color (BISOC) and their families feel safe and heard. This is done through examining how I, as a white woman, and how the school upholds white supremacist structures, and then through taking action to dismantle those structures and white spaces. To rewrite curriculum or to write new curriculum that is truthful, that allows access and engagement for our BISOC, that honors our students so that they see themselves reflected in what they are learning. To stop the criminalization of our BISOC, to fight against anti-blackness in classrooms and at school. To celebrate, lift up, and honor student voices so students are valued, heard, AND academically challenged daily.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have. Thank you!