10 students

1 teacher

1 superintendent

1 topic…or so I thought

The third grade class had been given the prompt to write about a strong woman they admired. I felt quite humbled when their teacher shared that several students had chosen me as that strong woman. This honor came with an invitation to speak to the third-grade students and a specific request to talk about the travel and advocacy work I do.

“Oh, this is going to be fun.” I thought as the teacher in me started thinking cross-curricular and how to make this a lesson that included history, geography, and the power of one’s voice.

I shared pictures from Washington D.C., the United States Department of Education, me in front of the White House, a picture of colleagues and myself with previous U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. John King, and pictures from the Capitol in Sacramento. I spoke and I talked to the students about the power of their voice.

As I began to wrap up, “Remember, your voice is important, sometimes you will be the only girl or woman in the room, sometimes you’ll be the only person with color in the room, sometimes you may be the only boy or man in the room. During these times, remember to own your voice and keep it strong even if it feels uncomfortable.” Ah, done, that was wonderful. I had a chance to teach. I got to connect with kids. I was happy!

A hand shot up from the front row. “Mrs. Hernandez, sometimes, I’m the only girl in the room when my friends are at reading, and I never say anything then.”

Voice

 

 

 

 

Posted by pgilders

Superintendent San Antonio Union Elementary School District, CA

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