As a third-year educator teaching 5th Grade science, Mr. Gonzalez of Northline Elementary enjoys seeing the excitement of his student’s curiosity for their daily lessons and experiments, which constantly brings something new and different to his experience as an educator.
“It’s a magical experience when you see kids learning and being able to see their minds just spark up and light up with[in] a group, with each other,” Mr. Gonzalez said.
Facing the reality of a devasting pandemic that has impacted both his interaction with the students and his own teaching methods, Mr. Gonzalez has been able to continue inspiring his students to reach deep within themselves, especially when children are working within potentially comfortable or distracting environments and have immediate access to social media.
Some of the steps taken towards adjusting to the current climate included having his students learning remotely from home locate materials and supplies around their houses to execute the experiments. In addition, Mr. Gonzales has depended on the knowledge and experience of his fellow science teachers to adjust to a virtual learning environment suitable for his students.
Nevertheless, Mr. Gonzalez still acknowledges that he does look forward to the day when both himself and all his students will all return to the classroom in person.
“It’s one thing learning behind the screen, but then it’s another thing to be involved and to be completely engaged with your peers around you, and your teacher behind you,” said Mr. Gonzales.
Fun Fact: While in college, Mr. Gonzalez considered pursuing a career in Healthcare and Law. Ultimately, he decided that his passion for the community while supporting children and his families better suited his life purpose and became a teacher!
Despite the events of the global pandemic, Mr. Gonzalez is proud of the work that his students accomplished (including increasing their literacy with the frequent use of technology), grateful for the support of his professional peers and leadership at Northline Elementary, and happy that his hard work and passion for the classroom has made a difference this school year. “I’m excited to see just how much further we can take it.”
Mr. Gonzalez is one of the six Houston Independent School District (HISD) teacher finalists of the 2020 – 2021 alliantgroup-HISD Elementary Science Teacher Award! This award was created to reward local teachers who, through innovative lesson plans that emphasize both the importance and fun aspects of science, are increasing student achievement and engagement.
Five of the finalists received a cash prize of $1,300 and $500 for their classroom and the grand prize winner received a cash prize of $3,500 and $500 to put toward improving their classroom!
About the Author
Ivy Okoro is the newest member of the alliantgroup Corporate Citizenship team, joining the company in June 2021! She is a native Houstonian and communications professional with robust career experience in various industries – including Oil & Gas, Non-Profit, Media, and Marketing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Corporate Communications from the University of Houston and has notably served as managing project lead for the annual “Original” MLK, Jr. Birthday Day Parade in Downtown Houston. In addition to supporting STEM education in Houston community, Ivy enjoys volunteering for various causes year-round, singing, traveling, cooking, home spa days, and a good kickboxing workout!