The teacher of the month comes from the North East Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas. Ms. Hidie Cabral teaches kindergarten at Coker Elementary School. This is her first year working in NEISD where she found a camaraderie with the school staff and a community of support who are involved and engaged in their children’s education.
Ms. Cabral considers this the perfect example of teamwork; supportive parents and administrators, where education is nurturing, fun and profound. It is a privilege for her to be a member of this dynamic community.
She was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico where she grew up with her parents, seven sisters and eight brothers. Her parents were illiterate, but they instilled in their children the importance of an education. Although he could not read, her father insured that the children completed their schoolwork. He would sit with them late at night after a long shift at work and check their work, as well as engage in activities together to make sure that they did their homework, and to practice more activities together. One of these activities that she fondly remembers was reading to her father and then discuss the text. She was always proud of the critical thinking skills he had and how they all benefitted from his perspective.
Ms. Cabral received most of her education in Mexico where she received two bachelor of arts degrees: one in Spanish Literature, and a second one in Theatrical Arts. After completing her studies, she moved to San Antonio, Texas. As a newcomer to the United States, she faced many challenges. She struggled with learning English as an adult, and she felt powerless without the ability to communicate even basic needs. She had to overcome social and racial issues that many newcomers or minorities face when they are adjusting to a new culture and navigating the learning of a new language. This experience connected her directly with what her children and many of her students were facing in the educational system. This inspired her to pursue and complete a Master of Arts in Bilingual Education at University of Texas at San Antonio. This decision had a great impact on her career as an educator.
Look into her classroom and you will witness a hub of organized chaos filled with energy and opportunities for students to explore and learn. Students are encouraged to be inquisitive and to investigate the things they learn that go beyond the mandated curriculum. Her personal goal is to create an environment where all students are excited to come to school, a place that fosters their natural curiosity and leaves them with a deep desire to come to school each day to discover new information. She hopes that this excitement will make it home as they share these discoveries with their families who will no longer have to ask, “What did you do/learn in school?” because their child will be filled with enthusiasm to share what they did in school. She also wishes that these experiences will turn into memories that will spark the next level of learning.
She knows the importance of communicating with parents and has embraced social media as a means to share the wonderful activities that take place in her classroom. This has become highly popular with parents as it gives them a snapshot of how their child has spent her/his day. It allows them to experience the day’s activities and also serves as an accessible platform for parents to provide feedback to the teacher on the things that are taking place in school. They get to see the progress that their child has made, including linguistic, socioemotional and academic progress. The use of social media to communicate with parents has yielded positive outcomes, such as increasing attendance, student participation, and bridging the gap between school and home.
You can view what she shares with the community at the following links:
NEISD Here is one video from our page Las vocales. Aprendiendo sobre Ellen Ochoa Aprendiendo sobre energía, la luz y el teatro de sombrasMs. Cabral is grateful and humbled by the recognition of Dual Language Educator of the Month. She shares this award with her colleagues, students and parents as they are all part of the team that makes her a successful teacher. She believes that
“Every acknowledgement of the hard work that educators do in our classrooms makes a difference and keeps our motivation growing so we can continue doing what we believe is best for our multicultural and multilingual students.”