“Ms. Sanchez takes advantage of professional development and conferences to learn new programs, teaching techniques, and tools to increase student participation and engagement that will lead to student success.”
Damaris Sanchez is a second grade teacher at Clark, a PreK–8 school. She has been teaching for three years, all in the second grade. Damaris has a Bachelor of Science in Education and has successfully completed three years of the Resident Educator Program. She is currently in the process of completing her fourth and final year of this program. Damaris’ next step in her ongoing professional development is to earn her TESOL endorsement. Damaris became a teacher because of the challenges she faced while learning English as a child. She grew up in a traditional family with loving parents who were born and raised in Puerto Rico and only spoke Spanish at home. As a child, she had very little support academically at home because of the language barrier and she struggled academically at school. Today, Damaris sees similar experiences among her students and strives to connect with them as a previous ESL student and a bilingual teacher. She relates to their struggles, because she has the background knowledge of learning English while still trying to hold onto her native language. She works from the understanding that the same approach and methods used to help ESL students are also effective intervention strategies that can benefit struggling readers in general. Damaris’s overall goal as a teacher is to inspire her students and to give them a sense of hope that it gets easier over time.