Delyssa Begay

DeLyssa Begay

Kathy Authors

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DeLyssa Begay

Many Farms, Arizona

I belong to the Black Sheep People. My clan is my mother’s, and my father’s is One-Who-Walks-Around People. I am granddaughter to the Bitter Water and Red-Streak-into-Running Water Peoples. That’s mouthful, but it is my identity.

My name is DeLyssa. I come from a small community called Rough Rock and it is located on the Navajo Nation. My first classroom was home and the natural world. I used to play with black widow spiders. I guess it was because I watched them long enough not to be afraid.

When I was a kid (at home), I was told repeatedly that the skills I learned would be essential to Iina, which is a Navajo word for “building a life.” It seemed a vague concept at the time, but now I can see it take form, especially in the classroom. I respect students and learning.

I belong to a big family. They have encouraged me to complete my undergraduate and graduate degrees, to read and write without interruption, and to develop my voice and passion for teaching.

I am an English teacher at the secondary level. I continue to learn about students and my practice as I enter my thirteenth year of teaching.