Albert Einstein once said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” Teacher assistants in Hidalgo ISD’s JC Kelly Elementary School take pride in teaching and awakening young minds by dedicating time and energy each day to the students and doing it while meeting their needs. “The intention for our teacher assistants (TAs) is to support the grade level and the teacher in the classroom, during breakfast, lunch and afternoon during their guided practice,” said Dora Proa, JC Kelly Elementary’s principal. “They are an essential part of the whole accountability system, here at JC Kelly Elementary School.”
A mentor gives the individual the opportunity to discover themselves through encouragement. “We are here to serve our students and help them meet their goals. My objective is to help the students become a better version of themselves because education makes them whole.” Ibarra meets with hie first-grader students to provide accountability and motivate them to do their very best. “We meet in the mornings during breakfast, and afternoons during lunch. We focus on writing, syllables, vowels, letter phonetics, anything that has to do with our literature lesson plans for the day,” Ibarra said.
Librarian aide and TA Alicia Ibañez understands the importance of knowledge and she hopes to serve and assist the students in every way possible by teaching and engaging in her students’ learning journey. “I enjoy meeting with my students, but what brings me great joy is to witness their ability to learn, all while sparking up their interest in learning something new!” exclaims Ibañez.
Ibarra added “If we don’t take the initiative in our students’ learning journeys, who will? I’m happy to help the students any way I can. I’m proud to be part of a great team at JC Kelly Elementary School!” Declares Ibarra.
Debbie Cepeda, TA and PEIMS clerk said that her students make her job easier. “As a teacher assistant, I understand that learning comes with a sense of duty, but this is where our one-on-one interventions come in to play.” The students are loving, respectful, and always eager to learn. I strive to build good communication skills and trust with the students because once that has been established, it’s easier to connect with the students’ interests along with their strengths and weaknesses.”
Proa is proud of the role her teaching assistants play and all the work they put forth. “I always remind them how crucial their role is as a mentor,” Proa said. "When they work hard, they end up taking more pride in their job and organization because they are helping build the future of tomorrow.”