(Original publication date July 13, 2011)
Teachers (positive or negative) influence the outcome of your future. Donĺt let anyone tell you differently. Growing up a Latina in northern New Mexico was both unique and challenging. While my classmates and friends were able to converse freely and comfortably in two languages, we were also lacking the opportunities afforded in urban schools and communities.
While we did not have specialty classes or many clubs to join, we mostly concentrated on academics. Socializing was high on our list and school basketball matches were the community pastime. Looking back on our education, and whether we thought otherwise then, we were lucky to share the best teachers reflected within:
Ms. C. Santistevan taught me creative writing, public speaking and how to believe in myself. Every week she asked her class to write a creative story, read it aloud in front of class and then the class voted on the uniqueness and entertainment of the story.
Ms. E. Roybal taught me that you need tenderness and kindness in your kindergarten teacher and she delivered. She taught me about organization and the world with a feature called Daily News listed on our blackboard.
Ms. E. Martinez taught me to get along with others, however different they might be.
Mr. E. Lovato taught me to compete and never settle for average grades. He was also a basketball coach so he knew something about competing. His ranting along courtside told all of us that in life you compete in work and in play.
Mr. G. Trujillo taught me good health and how to become physically fit. Mr. Trujillo was the epitome of good health and neat appearance.
Mr. D. Lovato taught me that it takes more than the four walls of a classroom to be a role model. Mr. Lovato was also a positive influence in our community through his church and other civic organizations.
Mr. B. Vigil taught me not to take myself so seriously. Almost always in a good mood, his business classes were valuable and fun.
Mr. Serena taught me to explore my creative side and think outside the box. His uncanny resemblance to Herman Munster was an added kick.
Ms. Applebee taught me about Greek tragedy, literature via Cervantes, Socrates, Shakespeare and the world outside of northern New Mexico through the fine arts.
Mr. T. Espinoza taught us discipline, respect and a whole lot of jokes.
While every teacher was not a positive role model those few who were negative shall remain unnamed. A few criticized and cut down the dreams of so many who could not keep up the pace. Another teacher fell asleep in class constantly, but taught me about who I did not want to be, but thanks to the many who taught me so much, great teachers do exist.