Marisol Romero, a kindergarten two-way dual-language teacher at Lakewood Elementary, became an educator by pure coincidence.
Soon after graduating college with a Sociology major, Romero visited her brother in Dallas and saw a Dallas ISD TV advertisement for the district’s alternative teaching certification program. Romero followed up on the advertisement and, within eight months, was leading a pre-K class.
Romero within three years realized she had found a calling in education. Meet A Top 100 Teacher, a Hub feature that spotlights one of Dallas ISD’s Top 100 teachers, checked in with Romero in her classroom at Lakewood Elementary.
What do you do differently now than you did when you first started teaching?
When I first started teaching, I thought it was about following a plan of activities and topics to cover. The problem was that with 22 students, the plan sometimes veered off course. I have learned to read my students, their attention span, their mood, and their engagement and modify accordingly, while still ensuring we master the standard.
What’s that one strategy that almost always works to maintain order in your classroom?
After nine years of teaching, I have not found one strategy that is the key to maintaining order in every classroom. I can say that after observing and collaborating with many teachers, being reflective on my experiences and being a life-long learner, it is a combination of strategies that work well with my personality and my teaching style. For me, the four guiding principles that maintain order and ensure my students and I have a successful day are:
- First and foremost, always come into the classroom with a positive attitude and a happy face;
- Keep in mind the attention span of the age-level I’m working with;
- Have a plan but be flexible and ready to adjust if needed;
- Have fun with my students.
What would you do for a living if you weren’t a teacher?
If I weren’t a teacher, I would probably be an educational app developer.
What one bit of advice would you give a college education major about what it takes to be a successful teacher?
In order to be a successful teacher, you have to have some personality traits that fit with this profession.
- A positive attitude
- Love kids
- Be willing to continue to learn and adapt
- Have lots of patience and perseverance
- Have a desire to make a difference in someone’s life
If you possess all of these qualities, you will enjoy your teaching career and therefore be a successful teacher. Success is measured by academic, social, emotional growth in all students, student and teacher happiness and satisfaction, and colleague support.
What do you hope your students take away from their time in your classroom?
I hope they learn to love learning as much as I do.
Compass, which is Dallas ISD’s alternative certification teacher academy, is accepting applications for those interested in becoming a teacher like Romero. Apply and learn more here.