Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Torres Teaches AP Calculus and Pre-Calc

Ms. Torres said if the world ended tomorrow, she would take off just in the afternoon after a productive teaching day

Ms. Torres

Carolina Ramos Bonilla

Waleska Torres teaches AP Calculus and Pre-Calc at the Prep.

Waleska Torres is a math teacher here at Passaic Preparatory Academy, where she teaches juniors and seniors. She graduated from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where she majored in Civil Engineering. Ms. Torres always pushes her students to do better and to not give up when any challenge comes their way. 

Over her years of learning, Ms. Torres said that she had two specific teachers that inspired her: high school chemistry and physics teachers. 

“There were two females, and they taught me that females can also be successful in male-dominated careers, specifically STEM fields,” said Ms. Torres. “They taught me to speak my knowledge with confidence and to stand up for my professional beliefs.”

Ms. Torres makes sure that she is flexible with her students because this is what they have taught her throughout her years of teaching. 

“Students have also taught me to be tolerant towards them for cultural reasons and because of their age and the challenges that I know teenagers face today,” said Ms. Torres. She is also very understanding when it comes to her students having other commitments that can be more important to them than their school work. 

Ms. Torres also shared that she doesn’t think that being book smart is the only way to succeed in life. In fact, she believes that success comes when a person has “common sense.”

The most embarrassing thing that has happened to her in a classroom, she said, occurred in Room G10.

“I always tripped over the wastebasket, I never had a sense of where it was even though it was always in the same place,” said Ms. Torres. 

How much does she love to teach? Ms. Torres said if the world ended tomorrow, she would take off just in the afternoon after a productive teaching day. 

The Boulevard then asked her: “ What would you do if you won the lottery?” 

“If I won the lottery today, with the money I would open a school, specific for immigrant children who are trying to immerse themselves in the American culture while struggling with the language barrier, as well as cultural differences,” she said. “The intent of the school is not to renounce your heritage, but instead to understand the American culture, so students won’t feel like outsiders in this country.”

And last but not least, we asked Ms. Torres how she thinks her students will remember her.

“I honestly don’t know, I have changed so much as a teacher as time goes by, it only depends on the student you ask,” she said. 

Reporter’s note: Personally, I have had Ms. Torres as a teacher for two years. I can say that I will remember her as someone who encourages her students to reach for more and not settle for less.  Being “lost in the sauce,” as she says, is normal because that’s part of life and everything comes into place when you least expect it.