Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Piedad Restrepo. I'm a bilingual teacher at Maple Lawn and the Mentoree School, which is in Dallas, Texas. And I've been teaching there for a year and a half.
Why did you start a career in education?
Now I got into the education field because I realized that there was a big need of bilingual teachers and kids that needed to access education in their own language, in these cases, Spanish in order to transfer all that knowledge to the second language so they can be successful. There is a big community of Hispanic students that need committed teachers to impact them and support them to achieve their academic growth, but still value their own culture and language. So I decided that I could be that person, be that professional switch career and start impacting the life of a lot of students.
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
If I could have another job, it would be in the psychology field, in the neuroscience of children's behaviors and responses. I would love to keep learning about it and be able to help many kids struggling because of a disruptive behavior that they have that keeps them away from learning and enjoying the learning experience in the class.
How are kids different now than 30 years ago?
How are your kids different now than 30 years ago? Well, technology has made a big impact on the latest generations and it is another environment. And the approach to understand children's behavior, um, has changed. And it's currently still developing. We need to approach each generation considering the context in which they are growing, so we can actually help them.
How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?
How is teaching different now than 30 years ago? I can see that now it is important for students to not only know something, but also be able to discover that knowledge. So there are more opportunities now for students to be the protagonists of their own learning through a more collaborative approach in the classroom, which is a good thing.
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
What would I tell someone right now that is thinking about becoming a teacher? Well, I would tell that person that it is a very important career and that you as a teacher never stopped learning and working because teaching is the most creative and dynamic job, but the best part of it is to be able to make a positive impact in your students and in their families.
What would you change to help kids learn better?
What is one I would change to help kids learn better? I would like to have an education system that is less focused on the test results and more focused on the individual process of learning the experience in itself. If somehow I would be able to change that. So we teachers can concentrate at all our efforts in each learning process of each one of our students. I think that that would have a great impact on the experience of learning. Thank you.