Clara Galindo is someone who exudes positivity and a "zen attitude" in her classroom. Her students are the best indication of this, who describe her as "the best teacher they ever had", a huge contribution to their confidence in writing and math, and their overall success as students. In the dual language field, it is very important to show a caring attitude to your students and a genuine interest in their success. Succeeding in two languages is already difficult, and therefore needs a positive environment to reach the fruition of your success. Ms. Galindo was nominated by her colleague, Karla Palomino, who describes her classroom as "welcoming and loving, both visually and psychologically. She encourages students to do and be their best. She is a teacher leader and demonstrates that same disposition with her teacher peers." With that said, we are thrilled to announce Clara as our March Dual Language Teacher of the Month!
Clara has been involved in education for 19 years. She started teaching in a first grade Transitional Spanish Bilingual Program when she was 24 years old. This allowed her to first develop her passion for bilingual teaching.
"I was excited to work with little ones who cherished their native tongue but found it disappointing knowing they would eventually be exited out of the program by 5th grade. After birthing my three children, I moved on to an International Baccalaureate Charter School in Northeast Los Angeles, which taught 4 different languages: Spanish, English, Mandarin and Nahuatl (the indigenous language of Mexico)"
There, Clara embraced various cultures and instilled the importance of being Open-Minded in a Global Society. She currently teaches at Phelan Language Academy where she works as a team with families, students, teachers and administrators to make student success a priority.
"My biggest influence in becoming an educator was when I studied at UC Davis, I was part of a student organization called MECHA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/as de Aztlan). Many times, we would go out into the neediest parts of the surrounding communities to offer various services."
At Davis, Clara was surrounded by migrant towns and decided to offer free tutoring sessions to junior high students. This was the first time she had worked with students, and the experience made her realize that she loved working with students to understand content and material while at the same time, creating a relationship with them. This experience helped to guide her towards her career an educator.
Clara dressed up like La Srta. Nelson for Halloween. Important for Dual Language teachers to get involved with their students' activities!
Continue reading to find out more about how Clara inspires her Dual Language students...