Inspirational Educator: Charlotte Valdez- It Takes a Big Heart to Master the Art of Teaching

How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching for 3 1/2 years.

Why did you choose to teach as a career?

Teaching chose me because I have a strong passion and love for children. I love watching them learn and grow into kind and caring people. I like to think of myself as a “big kid,” so I find that I connect with my students on a really personal level. I remember teachers from my past that connected with me and I strive to become that kind of teacher for my students.

Many people question if our current education system is working. What do you think?

I would have to agree that our current education system isn’t working especially in Arizona. There is a reason why we are 49th in the nation….. 🙁

What would you like to see being taught in our classrooms?

The school I work in is a 5C 21st Century Skills school. We focus on the 5C’s; Community Connection, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Critical Thinking. I would love to see more of this in other schools. Focusing on these skills really prepares students for the workforce and college. It also allows them to learn how to work with others even if they don’t necessarily get along.

If you have been teaching less than five years, do you intend to stay in the profession? Explain your feelings.

I intend to continue teaching because I adore my job. There is nothing I would rather do than spend time teaching children and watching them grow. The negative aspects of teaching are simply road bumps that can’t be avoided but handled with positivity and flexibility.

Share your proudest teacher moment.

My proudest teacher moments are when I see my students reaching out to help one another and work together. When a student speaks kindly to others it makes my heart melt and in my head, I think to myself, “I’ve done my job.”

What is the most important message about teaching that you would like People to know?

Teaching is the most stressful yet rewarding profession out there. It takes someone with a big heart to truly master the art of teaching.

How can parents and Educators work together to better to ensure children are successful?

Parents and educators can work together closely to ensure success. Communication with parents is extremely important. If teachers don’t communicate with parents, how will they know if there’s a problem or a triumph? Teachers shouldn’t save communication with parents only for the negatives or the concerns but highlight the positives and the achievements no matter how small.

What is the most important educational gift parents can provide for their children to help them be successful learners?

One word. Time.

Who is most Inspirational Teacher you’ve had? Why?

My 4th-grade teacher, Mrs. Tripp was so inspiring to me. She created a relationship with me that was invaluable. She knew me inside and out. She would be able to tell when I was having a bad day or when I was on a roll. She would play music for us and let us do readers theater. She made us laugh and cry and everything in between. Above all, she loved us as her own. Until last year I was extremely close with her. She, unfortunately, lost her fight with cancer but with her passing, you could see all of the lives she had touched.

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