Kendra Salazar loves her students. She works hard to make each student feel comfortable in her classroom. She also works hard to build a relationship with the parents of her students. When teachers and parents are able to work together for the good of the student, children will thrive.
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What do you wish you had known before you started teaching?
Much of the work of a teaching career comes outside the classroom: things like paperwork and meetings, trainings, etc.
There is a lot of planning: both lesson planning, and also after school activities, things for the parents, and extra meetings for the students, PTA parties, many little things like that end up taking up a lot of your time outside the classroom.
Imagine doing your job and having 25 little friends following you around- there is so much more to it than just teaching.
What is one of the things you are doing well as a teacher?
I have a really good relationship with the parents. I try to help them feel like they are a part of the classroom environment and I have an open door policy.
I have a lot of siblings come into my class, and I think that shows that the parents feel comfortable with me as a teacher.
I do this by being open with the parents and let them ask any question. I also am understanding about homework and its place in the family life.
Parents are able to communicate with me. I want them to feel like we are on the journey together.
I’m a mother too and I understand how families work and what its like to be busy.
A lot of times people don’t think of teachers as humans. I want them to know that I understand.
I became a better teacher when I became a mother because I get it now. I get how hectic it can be.
Teachers want the best for your children and sometimes the best is to go to bed early and do the homework later.
What are some ways you are making a difference in the classroom?
I let my kids be themselves and celebrate who they are individually.
I try to celebrate each student’s strengths.
I want them to know that everyone has something that they’re wonderful at. I take the time to find out what that is.
Once we find out what that is, I let the kids share that and we find opportunities to show their talents to others. I remember a letter a student to me that said, “Ms. Butler (her maiden name) will always be my favorite teacher. She made me feel comfortable.”
I want all my students to feel that way. I want them to feel comfortable.
Who are your favorite authors?
Kevin Henkes wrote Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse teaches about rules and what’s appropriate. He also wrote Wimberly Worried and that teaches that things are going to be okay and things are going to work out.
Mo Willems writes simple funny books with Piggie and Gerald. The kids pick them op and look at them over and over again.
Dr. Seuss helps with learning to read because of the rhyming.
Room on the Broom is another favorite book. Its about friendship and sticking up for teach other. He also wrote The Gruffalo, which the kids love.
Sometimes parents thinks books are too hard, but let kids use books as a tool for their imagination, even if it’s too hard for them to read right now.