Veronica Deneumostier is a Kindergarten DL (Spanish) teacher at Independence ES in the Lewisville (TX) ISD. She maintains a presence on Twitter here.
The idea of becoming a teacher had been around me since I can remember. My great-grandmother, my mom, and my godmother were teachers; and my BFF became a teacher, too.
However, I decided to go into the business world. It was a great experience and I don’t regret it, for it made me who I am today. But after more than 10 years in a few executive positions, I craved something more rewarding in terms of human-related accomplishments. That’s when I found my call into teaching. At the time, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
I spent two years in my first school, teaching bilingual fourth grade. I can still remember the first day there: 17 pairs of eyes staring expectantly at me, and me taking a deep breath and launching into a completely new career. I realized that these kids knew that others thought of them as “the ones that brought the scores down”. I wanted to change that notion and help them discover their potential. Because of our dedication and perseverance, because of the bond we had, and because I kept reminding them they could, they learned to believe in themselves. Their academic gains proved it!
After working with 9 and 10-years-old students, I moved to work with dependent first graders at a new district. Getting adjusted to such young group of kids made it a very interesting year. But it wasn’t until I taught kindergarten for the first time on my fourth year of teaching when I found my biggest challenge.
Having 20 five-years-old kids motivated and engaged to learn every day was a major challenge. But having Roberto within the group, made the whole school year a foremost rewarding experience. From day one, I could tell he would have difficulties to fit in. He could not speak; he just mumbled. He had no social skills, and he was not capable of learning at grade level. Later that year, he qualified for Special Ed services. I embraced him as my own child and was able to connect with him. We both took baby steps in the teaching/learning process, and we both came a long way. We learned to understand and communicate with each other. He ended the year muttering all his classmates’ names, being able to mumble phrases and being understood by his friends. He learned to behave in the classroom. He gained knowledge about colors, numbers, and letters. I was truly blessed to have him in my class. I’ve been teaching Kindergarten since then. This will be my sixth year.
In addition to my own children, my 5-year-old students teach me so much without knowing, and make me strive to be a better person on a daily basis. Becoming a teacher made me discover what enthusiasm for learning really was, to see beyond a kid’s misbehavior, and confirm the old saying: “teaching is a work of heart.” I am passionate and grateful for my job. Each day I not only live, but I love, laugh, and learn. This is why I teach.