Fierce

FIERCE Maestras Are Giving Newbie Teachers Career Advice And It’s Basically The Sweetest Thing

No matter what experiences you’ve had as a student, hopefully you have had at least a handful of teachers who left good impressions on you. As a whole class of students from this year graduate and become teachers themselves, we wanted to ask veteran maestras for advice on how to continue the cycle of positivity.

In a recent post to our Instagram page we asked all our FIERCE maestras, what advice do they have for a new teacher and boy did they deliver!

Check out the replies below!

Stay nourished.

“Advice: eat during your break girl and practice self-care.” – la_misses_m

Take it easy.

“Take it one day at a time. At times you will doubt yourself but push through the all the challenges. Always remember why you are there, which is to teach your students. You got this!! Good luck!!” – erixcii

Make sure you’re feeding your relationships.

“Focus on relationships above everything. Relationships with your students and their families!”- allirousey

Don’t forget to build relationships with your students.

“Self-care and building relationships with your students and families!!” – jazzyfue

And definitely remember to trust yourself.

“I’m an SLP, but I would tell her to trust herself!! You got this! You know your kids and you talents!” – maryoso_moli

Self-care Sundays shall your temple.

“Practice Self-care and build relationships with students. Remember to always be kind to the janitors/grounds keepers/ clerical staff (they make our jobs easier). Consider keeping a scrap book or journal of sweet notes and emails that you can look through on the tough days. Always teach with your heart and with a growth mindset; never get complacent because our profession is ever changing and we will likely never have the exact same group of kiddos again. Keep learning from your coworkers (what to do and what not to do), from your students, insta teachers, workshops, and personal experience (make notes to yourself in your planner for next year). Being organized has saved me, even on the most hectic days. Always have a back up lesson available. Empathy is key! Take. Days. Off. I know lesson plans are time consuming, but your mental health is worth prioritizing.” – cmirene

Know it gets better over time.

“The first year may be hard, but it gets better and better every year.”- yulzzzz5

Don’t be a Yes Ma’am.

“Advice: learn to say no. You’ll be super compelled to go more than above and beyond because it’s all for the kids and as much as I ADORE AND LOVE my students just as I am sure you will you need some you time. I started being the only teacher at school functions and being stressed about helping my high schoolers have the best time that I was drowning. Love them but love yourself too! You deserve you time.” – del_ranita

Don’t be a shrinking violet.

“Don’t shrink yourself to make your whyte colleagues feel comfortable. Connect with other teachers of color and ask for/give support. Lead with love for your students. They should always come first.”- queenurbie

Be an authentic leader.

“My one piece of advice is to invest time in getting to know your students, their stories and be your authentic self with them. Kids love knowing that their teachers are people and are just like them.” – meerehyah@educatinglittleminds 

And finally, remember ya live and learn!

“I remember I used to always want to be “perfect” for them and would fear making mistakes or letting them see me when things wouldn’t go right. When a lesson didn’t work out as planned. I learned to let that go and to let them see me make mistakes. It is okay! And it is okay to admit it. They’ll appreciate it! Teaches them that we aren’t all perfect and we all make mistakes-it’s a part of life. Teach on and be You! They’ll love every piece of you.” – su_heeey

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Texas Teacher Continued To Teach Her Students From Her Hospital Bed Until She Died From COVID-19

Things That Matter

Texas Teacher Continued To Teach Her Students From Her Hospital Bed Until She Died From COVID-19

Blancas Family / GoFundMe

For so many of us, our teachers are our heroes. They help make sure we have a safe place to come to, to learn in, to express ourselves. Teachers have helped shape so many of us into the people we are today.

That was the work that one El Paso teacher was doing all the way up until the very end. Unfortunately, she’s passed away after battling COVID-19, however, thanks to her compassion and commitment to education, her memory will live on for a very long time.

An El Paso teacher behind heartwarming viral video dies at 35 of COVID-19.

Zelene Blancas was a kind soul who shined positivity on everyone she meant, according to so many of those who knew her. Unfortunately, like so many other Americans and people around the world, Blancas recently lost her battle against COVID-19.

The first grade bilingual teacher from El Paso, Texas had gone viral for her positive vibes just two years ago in a video shared to YouTube of her students giving each other hugs and high-fives.

Blancas, who taught at Dr. Sue Shook Elementary School, died of COVID-19 and passed away this week, former Socorro ISD colleague Patty Flores shared on social media. In her social media post, Flores said she and Blancas worked together as fourth grade bilingual teachers.

“Ms. Blancas was a dedicated teacher who loved her students and provided a positive, loving environment for them. She had a light that shined from within and was a positive influence on all those around her,” Flores said. She added, “She was my colleague and friend and simply a beautiful person all around. She will be greatly missed but her legacy of kindness, love and joy will carry on with all those who were blessed to have known her.”

According to a GoFundMe page seemingly started by her family to raise money for her treatment, Blancas tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 20, had to be hospitalized on Oct. 24 and was placed in the intensive care unit. The GoFundme page had raised $33,226 of its $15,000 goal with almost 1,000 donors to the campaign as of Monday.

Blancas and her class had gone viral in 2018 for a video posted to YouTube.

In 2018, Blancas and her students went viral for a video showing Blancas’ students giving one student high fives, hugs and handshakes. The video quickly racked up the views and had received more than 13.6 million views in November 2018 and had 22.2 million views as of last week.

According to a prior story written about the viral video in the El Paso Times, the video showed an example of a new educational initiative at the time called social-emotional learning, which teaches young students how to cope with their emotions, handle conflict and develop interpersonal skills. 

One student was chosen at random to be the recipient of friendly greetings and classmates chose one of four greetings from a set of four greetings pictured on an adjacent wall.

As the students left for the day, they lined up and chose which greeting to give the selected student, allowing students to feel in control of greetings they receive and allowing them to go home happy, Blancas told the Times.

“I want them to go home feeling like I’ll be waiting for them here the next day, or for them to feel like they’ll have a safe place to come back to and learn in a safe environment,” Blancas said two years ago. 

“Regardless of the grade level she taught she was an inspiration and motivation for her students,” Flores told TODAY. “What she taught all of us about creating that positive environment, even during long distance learning, will never be forgotten.”

Blancas also helped out following the El Paso massacre in 2019 at Walmart.

Following the 2019 mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart, 1,337 pairs of pink socks were sent to students at Shook Elementary School and on Nov. 19, 2019, a “Kindness” pep rally was held, encouraging students to wear their pink socks on Mondays and teaching them about kindness in the process. 

Nick Adkins, co-founder of Pinksocks, told TODAY that Blancas was an example of the best of humanity. 

“The ripple effect of love and kindness that she put out into the universe through teaching her kids through the years is immeasurable. Ms. Blancas and the entire staff and students at Shook are what we should all strive for each and every day, each and every now. She lives on in the love that she taught and spread. I am grateful for her. We all are,” Adkins said.

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Stephen And Ayesha Curry Are Donating Thousands of Books To Schools For Christmas

Entertainment

Stephen And Ayesha Curry Are Donating Thousands of Books To Schools For Christmas

Handout / Getty

Hark the herald! Stephen and Ayesha Claus Curry– are here to bring literary joy this season.

The Golden State Warrior and his wife are donating thousands of books to schools around Oakland, California this holiday season in an effort to bring joy to children.

The couple, behind Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation, made the announcement earlier this week.

“We along with our entire team at Eat. Learn. Play. understand the importance of early childhood education, especially when it comes to literacy,” Stephen and Ayesha told People magazine in a recent interview. “Nothing is more basic, more essential, more foundational, or more important to a child’s success in life than the ability to read well. We know there is a lot of work to be done, but with partners like Literati, we’re hopeful that we will be able to make an impact on these children’s lives.”

The Currys’ donations will arrive to schools in boxes that will contain six books.

The packages will include five children’s books and one for adults. All of which come from Stephen Curry’s “Underrated” book club selection.

Along with their thousand book giveaway, the couple’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation will donate boxes to students who are learning remotely amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in collaboration with and Literati. Fourteen thousand boxes will go directly to Oakland Unified Schools.

According to people, “The remainder of the donation, which was also made possible through Bay Area investor Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures, will be distributed through community partners in the new year.”

Speaking about their own experiences of teaching their children during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Stephen and Ayesha (who are parents to Canon W. Jack, 2, Ryan Carson, 5, and Riley, 8) told People that they’ve been hard work attempting to keep their children busy and learning.

“My oldest is pretty disciplined so that’s been easy, but our 5-year-old has a little trouble staying engaged for an extended period of time,” Ayesha, host of ABC’s new show “Family Food Fight,” explained.

Ayesha says she has found that taking part in “some kind of physical activity right before class starts” helps her daughter Ryan “to focus the mind and get some of the wiggles out, and periodic ‘dance breaks’ between lessons.”

“We also added resistance workout bands to the legs of her chair, which give her something to do if she gets antsy during a long Zoom session,” Stephen added.

“Luckily for me, Stephen has really stepped in with education and their schooling. And I’m okay with that because I birthed them so now [he] can birth and nurture their education,” Ayesha joked in a recent episode of “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”

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