Interview with Kika Anazia, teacher, YES Prep Northside Secondary
Kika, can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Kika Anazia and I am a born-and-raised Nigerian. I am the oldest of four. My parents still live back in Lagos, but my three younger sisters are in East Texas, Salt Lake City and Gainesville, Florida. I have lived all over Texas, it seems, but I’ve called Texas my home for the last 15 years.
Please share with us your educational background.
I went to Grange Secondary School (high school level) in Lagos, Nigeria and graduated at the age of 15. I took a gap year and moved to Waco to start my college education at Baylor University from which I graduated with a degree in Biochemistry. I went back to school after another year off to pursue a second degree in Mechanical Engineering at UT Tyler.
I moved to Houston after attaining my degrees in Biochemistry and Mechanical Engineering to find a job. I worked all sorts of random jobs, from tutoring to landscaping to construction to bartending. Finding a job as an immigrant is a lot harder than some would have you believe. It wasn’t until three years later that I found something I enjoyed: teaching at YES Prep.
How did you first learn about YES Prep? What has it been like working at YES?
My wife works for YES Prep, so she suggested the opportunity to me in August 2019. I remember showing up to the hiring event, not quite sure what I got myself into. I taught my sample lesson, received some immediate feedback, and I found out that North Forest Secondary had a Chemistry position open. It was my just-right job and I got hired on the spot. I didn’t know that I wanted to be a teacher until I started doing it and realized how much I loved it and how fulfilling it felt.
I didn’t know that I wanted to be a teacher until I started doing it and realized how much I loved it”
I am about to complete my second year of teaching and my experience has been rewarding but difficult. It has been a unique school year but YES Prep has made me feel at home despite feeling a little overwhelmed at times. From the moment I set foot on campus to embark on my teaching career, everyone has been friendly and welcoming. I have had support for any question I might think to ask. Building relationships with my peers has never been something I had to think about because everyone makes it so easy.
What excites you the most about being a teacher?
Working at YES has blessed me with opportunities to build relationships with my students in and outside of the classroom. I was hired to teach tenth-graders chemistry but with the pandemic, I am also prepping and teaching Biology and Physics. I love these subjects because I just love high-level science and I feel joy from seeing these concepts start to make sense to my students.
I just love high-level science and enjoy teaching these concepts to students every day.”
I’ve also had the pleasure of coaching both high school boys and girls soccer and it has been such a rewarding opportunity. Students on the field are generally more open and just excited to be outdoors. Athletics offers fun learning opportunities because, be it in a gym, on the bus or on the field, they are still getting an education.
Any final thoughts?
YES Prep is a lovely place to work. I genuinely feel at home here and I didn’t think it would be possible for me to enjoy going to work every day until I got here.
Teacher Application Now Open!
The 2021-22 teacher application is now open! We are accepting applications for grade levels pre-K through 12 at our 23 campuses across Houston. If you or someone you know is looking for a career where you can make an impact, apply today to join the YES Prep team, where your passion meets purpose. Immediate openings are also available for select roles.