Educational Coordinator (EC) Alex Ritz, currently in his first year as an EC at Pivot San Diego, spent the first part of his career as a counselor for adults with developmental disabilities, where he realized his passion for forming connections and helping others

“Seeing my clients grow and building relationships with them was something that really pointed me in the direction of teaching,” Alex said. “It was great to see their progress and it built in me the love of connecting with and teaching people.”

In January 2020, Alex decided to obtain his teaching credential in social science from CSU Long Beach and began teaching at Pivot in the fall of 2020.

After starting at Pivot during an unprecedented year of completely virtual teaching, Alex found that many of the skills he learned as a counselor translated into teaching. Though he has been working with a different population, Alex said he loves teaching at Pivot because of the individualized attention he is able to give to his students.

“I can build a one-on-one relationship with all my students and really get to know them in a way that I didn’t feel like I could when I was student-teaching 30-40 kids at a time,” Alex said. “A truly student-centered education is outside of the box, and Pivot is great at delivering whatever the student needs to succeed.”

The University of Santa Barbara alumnus said it is more difficult for traditional schools to tailor each student’s education to ensure no one falls through the cracks.

“At Pivot, teachers are able to see exactly what students are struggling with, how they get over obstacles and how they’re able to succeed,” Alex said. “We’re able to tweak the education to make it more personalized for the student.”

Although his first year of teaching came with its own unique challenges, Alex said he has already learned a lot.

“Let’s be honest, it is a very strange time to have my first teaching job,” Alex said. “But Pivot has 10 years of experience with virtual teaching and it has allowed me to become a better virtual teacher and learn how to reach students when they’re not right there in the classroom with you.”

In his spare time, Alex enjoys playing bass guitar, listening to podcasts and going hiking with his wife and two dogs.