To See Who I Am . . .

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Hernandez with Students

When I applied to ASC, Regis Jesuit High School-Girls Division was my last choice. I didn’t want to teach girls because I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to connect with them. I grew up with a big family that mostly consisted of boys. I knew how to get along with boys and get on their nerves – they were interactions I understood after all.

During my year at Regis Jesuit I realize how much my students care for me and how they want to learn everything about my life. They always ask me how I am doing and how my weekend was. In March, I went to a concert to see Il Volo, an Italian operatic-pop trio. I had amazing seats and one of the singers asked me to join him on stage, then I had a meet and greet, finally one of the singers followed me back on Instagram. I am probably sounding like one of my students, but this is one of the many moments that I had where I felt so blessed to be teaching girls. After spring break my class asked me how the concert went. Little did they know I had a whole PowerPoint presentation ready for them, about the concert.

We were covering vocabulary for hobbies so I used many Spanish words in my PowerPoint to share my experience with them. The enthusiasm they all had during my presentation was incredible. The fact that I was willing to share something personal about my life, outside of school, with them was great.  When I told my class that one of the members followed me back on Instagram, they all lost it. The fact that they shared my excitement made me feel welcomed and grateful to be their teacher.

This experience helped me see how much time teachers spend with their students. Time that not even their parents have, because of either work, sports, or homework that get in the way. The great gift is that I, as a teacher, have a scheduled time I see my students and yes I teach and they learn but it is also important for them to see who I am. This way they aren’t afraid to be themselves during my class. I also give my students the opportunity to share during class, bringing our small community together. After my experience through various communities this ASC year, I know how important it is to build community. My class is something that I didn’t know I needed. I will miss them so much next year and they are intelligent, respectful, and cheerful ladies who will touch many other teacher’s hearts!

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