Meet Astrid Willis, a Master's In Teaching student

Astrid Willis (they/them) is a graduate student at Western Washington University. With a double major in History and Political Science, as well as an endorsement in Social Studies, Astrid knew that they wanted to be a teacher in Washington state. They came to Western on the WUE program from Montana to pursue this passion and ultimately achieved their Master's in Teaching.

Astrid's commitment to education is evident in their work as a graduate assistant, where they are coordinating a campus visit for AVID students at Shuksan Middle School. This is not the first time Astrid has worked with the Shuksan AVID program; they have been collaborating with Master in Teaching, Bellingham students to create opportunities for local students.

Astrid's dedication to education goes beyond their work with AVID students. They are also a coach for high school debate teams and actively involved in creating a more inclusive classroom environment. Astrid shares that the Master's in Teaching program at Western is "very affirming of gender expression" and has provided a supportive and affirming space for them especially with faculty members such as Professor Longoria.

As a queer non-binary trans person, Astrid acknowledges that their identity informs their desire to be a teacher. They recognize the importance of being a role model for students and want to create an environment where they can be "free and open and communicative" about their identity. They see teaching as a way to make an outward statement of defiance, showing the public that people like them exist and are valued members of society.

Astrid's political identity also informs their desire to be a teacher. They have been involved in political campaigns and direct mutual aid work since high school and want to bring that experience into the classroom. They believe that every generation deserves the support and toolbox to create change in their communities.

In addition to their passion for teaching, Astrid has a desire to teach about the US government more honestly and create a curriculum that is prepared for sudden societal change. With their unique perspective and commitment to creating an inclusive and just society, Astrid is sure to make a positive impact on their students and the community at large.

Western is proud to have students like Astrid, who are dedicated to making a difference in the world through education. Their commitment to inclusivity, social justice, and political activism is something we should all strive towards.