Sandra Martinez recently joined Dallas ISD’s Social and Emotional Learning team as their Family Engagement Coordinator, helping empower parents and caregivers with SEL tools and practices to help the whole family thrive.
What led you to your role as SEL Family Engagement Coordinator?
I have been in education for 10 years and have always enjoyed serving others. My road to the SEL department has been unconventional. I have professional experience in marketing, communications, community relations, project management and of course, education. I attended Dallas’ Alternative Certification program and taught kindergarten and 3rd grade. SEL was a big part of my classroom culture and I quickly became a strong advocate when I began to notice a shift in the behavior, academics and overall climate of my classroom. I am excited [for this role]because it allows me to share my knowledge with and learn from parents.
Why are you passionate about this work?
I am passionate about SEL because it impacts every part of our lives. SEL addresses critical skills that last a lifetime and it is never too early or too late to begin the SEL journey. I am excited to help parents and our students become healthy, happy and successful individuals with tools to make a positive mark on the world!
How has SEL made an impact on you or your family?
I’m much more present, physically, emotionally and mentally when I interact with others. This has helped with empathy and communication within my immediate and extended family. I often say I wish I had been exposed to SEL when my now adult-aged son was younger because I think it would have helped in my parenting. However, as every parent knows your job is never really over! In that spirit, I share mindfulness tips and information about the brain– which has definitely helped him as a college student.
Highlights from the SEL Parent/caregivers website include:
- Anti-Racism, Equity, and Diversity resources in English/Spanish.
- Resources to help our Arabic, Burmese, Chin, Kirundi, and Swahili speaking families
- Link to sign up for the Dallas ISD Parent/Caregiver SEL Newsletter.