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Distinguished Teacher Martha Garibay

What advice would you give to people considering a career in teaching?

Teaching is an honor and a privilege! We have the ability to believe in our students, so that they stand a little taller, smile a little more, and thrive under any circumstances. We have the ability to empower those who feel powerless within our school community: parents, teachers, and students. We have the ability to transform the way our students see themselves and the world. As a teacher, you have a unique, treasured opportunity to leave an imprint on an individual’s life; use this power with kindness, compassion, and love.

What's the best thing about teaching?

I love to see the transformation my students make throughout the year. I strive to see the exact moment when their eyes widen up, their posture straightens up, and the synapses in their brain start clicking as they come to their own understanding. Observing students use their hand motions to engage in meaningful academic conversations, signaling that they are building onto the class discourse or when they have found something so unethical that they have to respectfully disagree, is the biggest reward for me. The potential of each individual student is astounding! The fact that I get to walk and sometimes run with each student as they develop their own thinking is both awe-inspiring, and humbling