THERESA GARZA

1st-5th Grade Self-Contained | Crawford Elementary | Edinburg CISD

Charles Butt Scholar Alum, UT Rio Grande Valley

What should Texans know about what is happening currently in public schools?

Texans should know that teachers and administration and working extra hard to provide our students with the education they deserve. I feel there is a misconception that teachers are not doing anything, but we are doing so much!

Can you share one recent moment or memory that encapsulates your experience or communicates what is most meaningful about your job right now?

Today our school hosted a drive-by trunk or treat, and it was the first time I got to see my students. We social-distanced and wore masks but seeing my students in their costumes and their excitement to see everyone reminded me of why I do what I do, and it’s for the kids.

How has your education prepared you for this moment?

I cannot put into words how well my university, UTRGV, prepared me for teaching. I know that they could not have expected us to start our careers virtually, but I learned so much about working with different resources and, most importantly, being flexible.

What is one way you’ve supported your students recently?

Recently I have begun to prep my lessons about two months in advance because I realized that when we do packet distributions, I sometimes don’t have the material I need for my students to learn best. So now I have to think, “What will I be teaching six weeks from now?” so that I know which work I need to send home for us to be ready for those lessons. It takes a lot of time, but I do it so my students have everything they need. I am even creating craft kits for them so that we can do crafts together on Google meet!

Given the good, bad, and ugly of 2020-21, what do you love about teaching right now?

My students! There are days when I feel like the worst teacher on Earth and think I am failing, and then my students will tell me they love me or tell me a funny joke, and it makes it all worth it. If I can connect with ONE student a day, it makes my life feel whole.

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