Teacher Appreciation Week Spotlight: Ana Moreno-Hernandez, Erica Dixson, Denisse Sanchez-Narvaez

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May 4-8 is National Teacher Appreciation Week! The National PTA in 1984 designated the first week of May as a special time to honor those who lend their passion and skills to educating children.

Like their counterparts across the nation, Dallas ISD teachers play an essential role in student success. During Teacher Appreciation Week, we invite the community to join us in recognizing the dedicated educators who wholeheartedly commit themselves to providing an exceptional educational experience for all children.

Each day this week, we will recognize three of the hundreds of exemplary educators in the five divisions of the district. As we highlight their experiences, we salute the role every teacher plays in making our schools, communities and country better places to live and work.

Today, we salute Division 5 teachers. Each teacher answered the same three questions: What has been your favorite moment as a teacher, what is the best thing about being a teacher in Dallas ISD, and what is one way in which you hope to impact students?

Ana Moreno-Hernandez, Spanish teacher at Seagoville High School

What has been your favorite moment as a teacher?

My favorite moment as a teacher is the look on my students’ faces when they grasp the concept of a lesson I teach. It’s when former students stop by to say thank you because I have helped prepare them for college or the work place. My favorite moments are when I see my students succeed, whether it’s in the classroom, outside the classroom or after high school.

The best thing about being a teacher in Dallas ISD is…

The best thing about being a teacher in Dallas ISD is all the lives I get to impact. I also love the diversity of our school district. Working for Dallas ISD has exposed me to so many cultures represented by our students.

One way I hope to impact students is….

One way I hope to impact students is in the ways they represent themselves once they graduate. I don’t only teach them Spanish. I also teach them how to be hard-working, responsible and respectable. I tell them that I want them to be well-rounded students who are ready to be successful in society. 

Erica Dixson, sixth-grade science teacher at Balch Springs Middle School

What has been your favorite moment as a teacher?

I have had many moments of joy as a teacher. One that stands out the most happened this year. The students I had two years ago are now in their last year at our middle school in eighth grade. I had a small group of students visit me a few weeks ago after they took an exam for science. They told me how the concepts they learned in my class stuck with them and really helped them do much better on their exams in eighth grade. To see my students be able to achieve success years after being in my class is amazing!

The best thing about being a teacher in Dallas ISD is…

Our school is like a family and our district is a wonderful extension of that family. We support each other so our students and teachers are successful. That is why I am proud to be Dallas ISD teacher.

One way I hope to impact students is….

I strive for excellence every day, and my expectations are the same for each of my students. They know I will always be here for them, and my commitment to them reaches far beyond just one year in my class. Together, we are building a legacy of excellence! 

Denisse Sanchez-Narvaez, third-grade bilingual reading and social studies teacher at Kleberg Elementary School

What has been your favorite moment as a teacher?

One of my favorite moments this year has been working with a once struggling student. Throughout the year I have seen this student blossom and take ownership of his learning. The thought of knowing that he was having a very difficult time and now witnessing all that he has accomplished has been truly humbling. He has proven that you can do anything if you truly desire it. It was as if a light bulb suddenly turned on and he hasn’t looked back since. I have been blessed to accompany another person through their voyage of self-discovery.

The best thing about being a teacher in Dallas ISD is…

The best thing about being a teacher in Dallas ISD is that you are given the opportunity to meet children from all backgrounds and you can become a part of their lives and their journey. As a teacher for such a large district, you can make a difference in the lives of many children. You have the fortuity of learning about different cultures and beliefs and embrace these differences.

One way I hope to impact students is….

One way I hope I impact my students is by making sure that they understand the importance of taking ownership of their learning and being grateful for this learning. The most important lesson that you can teach a student is to value their education because there are many children in other parts of the world that are not as fortunate as they are. During the time they are in my classroom they may arrive viewing their education one way, but I will make sure that they leave respecting the knowledge they obtain and that it is important for them to guard it like a precious gem.

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