Kia Educator of the Month: February 2014
Name: Elyse Aldana
School: Bartolome de las Casas Charter School
Grade: 5th and 6th grade
How long have you been teaching? What grade do you teach?
Elyse Aldana: I have been teaching for the past year and a half. I currently am teaching 5th and 6th grade literacy and social studies.
Why did you decide you wanted to be a teacher? Are there any particular teachers who have influenced you in the past?
Aldana: I wanted to become a teacher because I firmly believe that every child deserves a quality education because education is the key to success in the future.
Describe your favorite teaching memory or experience.
Aldana: One of my favorite teaching memories was when I took my 5th/6th graders to the Hull House in the beginning of the school year. We did a whole unit on Chicago in the early 20th century and studied the work of Jane Addams. My students were so impressed by the museum and could not believe they were in the actual house where Jane Addams worked almost a hundred years ago!
How do teachers/educators impact the lives of their students? What do you hope that you personally can do to have a positive impact on the students you work with?
Aldana: Educators impact the lives of their students in many ways. Educators help mold the minds of future citizens. Educators teach their students values, interpersonal skills and study habits, as well as the necessary curriculum, all of which are imperative to success throughout life.
Describe how your professional role has made an impact thus far. What goals, if any, have you set in an effort to make even more of a difference in the future?
Aldana: My professional role has helped students from diverse backgrounds accomplish academic goals, as well as personal goals.
If your students could end each school year having learned only one thing, what would you want that to be?
Aldana: I would want my students to have an appreciation for the human race, and understand that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of skin color, ethnicity, gender or socioeconomic status.
What was your reaction when you learned you were selected as the Kia Educator of the Month?
Aldana: I was extremely flattered, as I believe all teachers from my school, Bartolome de las Casas, deserve this award. All the teachers at my school work to ensure success for our students in the current academic year, and for years to come!
As Teacher of the Month, how will you spend your $1,000 award money?
Aldana: I plan to purchase a computer program that creates individual learning plans for my students aligned to the NWEA.