Bachelor of Arts, Trinity University '12
Masters of Teaching, Trinity University '15
I dislocated my shoulder three times my freshman year of college. 1) Playing intramural volleyball 2) Practicing for my "Dance for Theatre" final at Trinity University 3) During a rehearsal for my hometown's production of "The Producers."
Q&A with Caroline Arroyo
Zip codes do not dictate the promising futures of my students, no matter what society has taught us to believe.
What is possible for your students?
KIPP Esperanza Dual Language Academy’s vision states: “[We aim] to ensure that, by the end of 4th grade, all students are bilingual and biliterate in Spanish and English. The education they participate in as elementary students will equip them with character and academic tools needed to not only interact with, but positively contribute to, the communities which they engage.”
This deeply resonates with why I became a teacher in the first place, to empower my students to discover their potential and unleash it throughout the world. Zip codes do not dictate the promising futures of my students, no matter what society has taught us to believe.
What are the goals that you and your students are pushing toward this year to prove that possibility?
Kindergarten is a year of growing socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually. I aim to optimize and garner family involvement, interest, and enthusiasm. I strive to plant the seeds for a deep love of literacy in my kindergartners. My goal is that they grow at least three levels in their reading. I also want my students to develop a strong number sense and a growing curiosity about mathematics.
How do you create a space for your students to reach their goals?
Peter Johnston writes, “learning is fundamentally social.” Through collaborative learning and an emphasis on reflection and self-evaluation, I believe we can successfully create a classroom community. People learn in communities. This parallels my hope that our classroom community becomes a safe space where we respect each other, we try our best, we work as a team, we learn from our mistakes, and that we celebrate each other’s success. Together, they accomplish more than as individuals and they have more fun in the process.
What will if mean for your students if they all meet these goals?
I am a firm believer in the importance of a solid early childhood education. If my KIPPsters start off on the right foot, they will have an exponentially higher chance at succeeding throughout their KIPP years and beyond. Education is the great equalizer and it is what motivates me day in and day out. Our students deserve no less.
How is that influencing your planning/instruction?
As developing professional educators, we must constantly reflect on our practice. The stakes are so high for our students. I need to make sure I am making data-driven decisions and truly meeting the needs of my students—not just what the standards dictate. Teaching is not easy. I reflect daily on what brought me here, which allows me to positively work through whatever challenges I face.