Ms. Angelina Sáenz

As the school year is back in session, we are thrilled to nominate a teacher who is admired by so many, and inspired so many students in her community. The September Teacher of the Month, Angelina Sáenz, works from the City of Angels.  She is a Fifth grade teacher at Aldama Elementary School in Los Angeles Unified School district.  The school is located in the neighborhood in which she resides.

Ms. Sáenz was the pioneer who started the dual language program at Aldama ES and has helped it grow and thrive over the past 10 years.  She believed so much in the program that her own children have attended the school.  Over the course of the program’s existence, it has become so popular that parents camp out overnight to try to get a much coveted spot in the program.

Photo for Teacher of the Month - Ms. Angelina Sáenz

When asked what influenced her to become an educator, a career that has spanned 20 years, Ms. Sáenz’ shared that the writings of Daisaku Ikeda, the founder of the Soka School system were the greatest influence on her career choice.  The founder of the system believed that,

Education is the spirit to treasure each student’s individuality so that they can become happy and enjoy a glorious future. Education does not exist for the sake of the nation, for business, or for religion. The aim of education is the happiness of oneself and others, as well as society as a whole, and peace for all humanity.

Angelina fully embraces this philosophy and shares it with all who enter her classroom and see the sign that reads, “The purpose of education, is the happiness of children.” As evident in the photographs that she shared, these students look very happy!

Photo for Teacher of the Month - Ms. Angelina Sáenz

Continue reading to learn more about our September Teacher of the Month…

A former teaching partner shared this about Angelina,

She makes school a joyful, life-affirming experience for her students, blending language, music, dance, culture, visual arts, science, social studies, history, math and inspiring quotations to stimulate her students to discover their talents, believe in themselves and grow as learners and as human beings. – Anne Zerrien-Lee

Photo for Teacher of the Month - Ms. Angelina Sáenz

She nurtures in her students the understanding that they are all special and unique beings with talents to share with others. Her quest is to help each child discover the special gifts that they have to offer to the world.

The impact that I would like to have on my students is that through our exchange, they will have learned that their life is irreplaceable and they must dedicate themselves to develop and find out what contribution they are supposed to make to the world, in this lifetime.

One of the gifts that they all will have when completing the dual language program at Aldama ES is the gift of bi-literacy.  A gift that will set them on the road to being citizens of the world.  A place where their experiences of developing a second language and cultural sensitivity will help them to cooperate with and respect people and to work together to create a peaceful and harmonious society. 

Photo for Teacher of the Month - Ms. Angelina Sáenz

Outside of the classroom, Ms. Sáenz has served in various capacities that include grant writing for various grants that were awarded, as a consultant for various entities, as a presenter at various professional conferences, as well as special training and certification.  These have contributed to rounding out the model teacher who is highly respected amongst her students, their families, peers and administrators. 

We congratulate September’s Teacher of the month for her dedication and accomplishments as an educator.

Language is a metacognitive process in my classroom. By looking at the idiosyncrasies of language, such as gender in the Spanish language, the implications of text translation and comparing the features of English and Spanish, my student’s realize that because they are biliterate, they get to engage with the world through multiple lenses, with sensitivity and cultural understanding.

Photo for Teacher of the Month - Ms. Angelina Sáenz

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