One In A Million: February 2024: Deserae Duran



Name: Deserae Duran

School & District: Flora Thew Elementary / Tempe Elementary School District

Grade(s) you teach: 2nd Grade

How many students in your class(es) this academic year? 19

How long have you been a teacher? 3.5 years

What made you get into the teaching profession?

I became a teacher because I want to help make a difference in children’s lives and help them grow every day!

Who was your most inspirational teacher & why?

I have two, their names were Mrs. Dhu and Mrs. Barksdale. They always pushed me to do my very best, made me feel loved every day, and they still inspire me today!

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges teachers in Arizona face right now?

Low pay, teacher shortage, substitute shortage, larger class sizes, burn out, etc.

How do these issues affect your day-to-day?

The pay issue affects me every day, so much so that I had to get a 2nd job to support myself. I love teaching and I obviously didn’t get into this profession for the pay, but if we did get paid livable wages, it would help so many people.

What does the $250 tax deduction for school supplies for teachers mean to you?

I spend way more than $250 a year on my classroom a year, so it’s nice to get some of it back.

How are the expectations of becoming a teacher different from reality?

I knew it was going to be a lot of work, but the mental exhaustion was something I was not prepared for.

Why do you think, teachers burn out so quickly?

The workload is nonstop and at times, we don’t have the proper support, I am extremely lucky to be at a school that has such a strong support system and a positive culture all around.

Do you typically feel appreciated or recognized as a teacher?

I have a great group of students who tell me how much they love me daily, and that is as all the appreciation that I need.

What “fills your cup” when you’re running on empty?

I enjoy taking trips to my hometown to hang out with my family, hang out with my friends, getting dinner, a massage & when I can, taking trips to Utah (to visit my brother, sister-in-law, nephew and god-daughter).

What are some of the most thoughtful & effective ways parents & the community can show gratitude?

Thoughtful gifts, snacks for students, and just overall recognition.

What is your wish for Arizona’s children?

My wish for Arizona children is that every student has a loving, dedicated educator who provides a safe learning environment where they are able to flourish and meet their goals!

What additional support or supplies do you need in your classroom & who do people contact if they want to help out?

I need more arts and craft supplies and flexible seating. You can email me.

What types of items/prizes are meaningful to you to win/be gifted?

Gift cards for a spa or Amazon gift cards.

 What is/are your FAVORITE…

– Color? Light pink

– Food/restaurant? OHSO brewery, chick fil a, wingstop, The porch, any pizza place, sushi, Postinos, & coffee!

– Music/group/artist? Drake, Sza, & Brent Faiyaz

– Sport/athletics team? Baseball & Steelers.

– Pastime/hobby? I enjoy baking, crafting, and taking longggg naps.

You will be able to see and support this teacher as a part of our Feel Like a Million Dollars competition this year.  The winner of the competition will be announced at our annual fundraiser, which takes place in July!


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