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Gus Muñoz is passionate about teaching and helping kids. This is his second year teaching at Pivot Charter School. Previously, he worked as a special education and substitute teacher in Orange County, while also working as a juvenile corrections officer for the Orange County Probation Department.
From the time he was a young adult, Gus knew he wanted to work with kids, and specifically, with at-risk kids. He originally planned on being a guidance counselor, but as he went through his schooling, he realized he wanted to do something different. “I wanted to be with the kids every day, not just when they came to me. I knew I wanted to make a difference in the lives of kids who didn’t have a lot of advantages, and that the best way for me to do that was to spend time with them every day”, Gus explained. His first job after college was with the Orange County Probation Department, where he would work with at-risk kids every day. Eventually, he found his way to teaching, which is his true passion.
Gus particularly enjoys teaching at Pivot because of the small class sizes and ability to give kids personalized attention. He explains, “I tell my families that here at Pivot their kids are getting an individualized education tailored to work with each student’s’ individual strengths and areas of deficit. Our class sizes are small and we can tailor what we do each day to focus on what the kids need most. If we have 5 students who come in and need extra help in Science, we hold a Science workshop. The individualization of the curriculum at Pivot is a great way to meet students’ needs every day.”
Gus feels that kids learn best when you can reach out to them on their level and get them to trust in you. He says, “Everything works once the kids trust you. If they feel like they have an advocate in you, then you can reach them.”