How did your program in the College of Education prepare you?
I had already been a teacher for six years before entering the doctoral program, but I think that what the program did was not only teach me how to analyze what I heard and saw, but also to become more reflective about what I chose to do.
Are there particular courses or projects during your time at UT that stand out?
The courses that I believe were influential to me focused on literacy, in my case, it was Spanish, as well as classes based on social justice. I enjoyed the literature classes, as they helped me do a better job of looking at books critically to allow for better classroom choices. I became excited to find strategies to become more effective in integrating social justice in curriculum for young students.
What do you like most about your work?
I enjoy working with the students, getting to know them and their families. I have said before that we learn from each other and it’s true! My students challenge me to be better, to keep growing. I have high expectations for them too.
What has been most surprising to you about your career path?
I don’t know that it is a surprise, but I get such fulfillment from my job. Maybe, what has been surprising is how much I still enjoy being in the classroom teaching young children. I believe this is the important beginning of their education, and I want to help them develop a love of learning. I could work at a university, and I know I would enjoy the experience. At this time, I mentor, tutor, attend conferences, and make presentations, so yes, I feel fulfilled. For me, it is honestly about the teaching.