From honorable mention to finalist! Fifth grade science teacher, Leticia Sifuentes, says she is thrilled to be one of six nominees for alliantgroup’s 2022 SPARK Award. Although this is her first year teaching at Bonner Elementary School, Sifuentes is a veteran of the classroom with 24 years of experience. She credits her own fifth grade teacher for inspiring her to become one.
“My fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Johnson, was very interactive. She was definitely somebody I looked up to and wanted to be exactly like,” said Sifuentes.
She tells us her favorite part about teaching is seeing her students become just as passionate about science as she is. She does this by getting her students to see lessons learned in the classroom show up every day in the world around us.
“I tell my students I’m a science nerd. We watch a movie, where’s the science? We go somewhere, where’s the science? They’re able to bring science to everything they talk about. It’s in reading, it’s in math, it’s just the way we can incorporate science in everyday life.”
Sifuentes was named one of our honorable mention teachers for alliantgroup’s 2019 SPARK Award. However, three years later she says she is a better educator after working through the challenges of a pandemic and virtual learning. She now realizes that as an educator it is not only her responsibility to ensure her students are performing well academically but also emotionally, socially, and mentally.
“I come here [to the classroom] and we do daily check-ins. We have our little reflection corner. If they’re not feeling well, they automatically go there and go do a little log,” Sifuentes shares. She wants to ensure that aspect of their life is prioritized in the same way as their academics.
With more than two decades of experience, Sifuentes tells us with a smile she has worked alongside incredible teachers within the Houston Independent School District and that is why she is so honored to be nominated among them.
Sifuentes is one of six Houston Independent School District (HISD) teacher finalists for the 2021-2022 alliantgroup SPARK Award. This award was created to recognize local teachers who are innovative in helping students learn about STEM. This year’s winner will be announced on May 26th.