Veronica Hernandez is a teacher at Julius Dorsey Elementary School who has positioned herself as a role model to her students. Hernandez uses this relationship to try to encourage character development in her students while challenging them academically through differentiated instruction.
Meet A Top 100 Teacher, a Hub feature that spotlights one of Dallas ISD’s Top 100 teachers, checked in with Hernandez in her classroom at Dorsey Elementary.
What motivates/inspires you?
My son, Enrique Rodriguez, is one of my biggest inspirations. The way he has always looked up to me is my biggest motivator in life.
How do you motivate and inspire your students?
I motivate and inspire my students by being a role model. I set high expectations for them while at the same time setting them for myself. I model perfect attendance, reward their work, and challenge them at every opportunity to become better. Each day is a new opportunity to teach them something new.
What’s been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge has been differentiating my instruction to reach EVERY student in my classroom. There are many teachers who give up on those Tier 3 students. Those are the students that I focus on the most because I believe that ALL students can learn. So, challenging the high students, teaching at the appropriate level for the rest, and tailoring my instruction for the low students to bring them up from 2 or 3 grade levels behind is the greatest challenge that I face every year – and my favorite.
What one bit of advice would you give a college education major about what it takes to be a successful teacher?
LOVE for what you do. If you are an education major for the “vacation” time– pick a different major.
What do you hope your students take away from their time in your classroom?
I hope that they take away how to be a good citizens– that they grow up to be future leaders in this society and remember all the good that I have taught them — not only academically, but all the values and ethics needed to make positive change in this world.
What is your ultimate career goal in the education field?
To positively impact, even if by very little, the life of every child that goes in my room.