The Importance of Education in the life of a Student;
“A Teacher’s Dream”
By Ms. Myriam L. Jimenez
My name is Ms. Myriam L. Jimenez and I am a life long student, educator and mentor. I am the 4th child of a family of eight 2 older brothers and 5 sisters. My parents migrated from Puerto Rico to the United States in search of The Latin American Dream. My Father was a Merchant Marine and my Mother was a servant of the Lord & a home maker. When my Dad returned from serving in the Military he found work at a stainless steel factory, until one day the plant shut down. At the early age of 16 my parents took me out of J.H.S 118 in Bronx New York, so I can go to work to help them pay the rent, buy food, and take care of my siblings. I promised myself that if I ever had a chance I would finish my education.
As the years past me by I felt that life had delt me a bad hand. Until I was married with two beautiful daughters and working fulltime as a Home Health Aide in the Bronx. One day my sister came to visit me, and said she was going to college. I was 29 years old and asked my sister “Would I be able to go?” She said there are people older than you going to college. I remember telling her please take me to your college. I prayed that night that if the school accepted me I would finish my dream.
In 1985 at age 32 graduated from The College New Rochelle with a B.A. in Psychology and Education. I worked in Harlem and as a Social Worker and a Mentor in a Local Homeless Shelter. Still continuing my enrichment in education taking various Work Shops and running a tenement building in “El Barrio”, better known as Spanish Harlem. Providing transitional housing to those graduating from the Shelter’s Program needing a fresh start.
In 1991 I moved to Orlando, Florida and worked as a counselor at a drug treatment facility and Case manager reuniting children and families. Still my passion was to pursue my carrier as an Educator. Shortly after arriving I found employment with Gateway Schools in Orange and Osceola Counties. I taught grades 6-12 with Severely Emotionally Children with learning disabilities and continued my studies in Behavioral Analysis. Ironically, I felt as if the children were just misunderstood and needed someone to listen to their needs and encourage them.
Children need a curriculum that uses different learning strategies. Most importantly what we instill in our youth will be the seeds that grow when they become adults. Literacy is an important part of a child’s life. Especially, when they have a language barrier or difficulty expressing themselves. An example of literacy is being able to identify letters and numbers. Reading, writing and sight words. Reading to children on a constant basis expands there vocabulary.
In 1997 I decided to open a Family Childcare. My life and my husbands life were the children for 18 hours of the day 6 days a week from 6am until 12:00 midnight. Our responsibilities were to make sure they had a positive and caring learning environment and a hot meal. Since then my husband passed and left me widowed, but I am still living our dream.
My passion has grown and now I’m a proud owner and Director of Ms. Myriam’s Learning Center. Where I Teach Bilingual Early Childhood Education Studies and Pre-Kindergarten. I love the children of many different cultures that I serve. I feel I have tremendous influence in children’s lives. Having a well balanced life is essential for any professional in order to maintain focus on the aspects of ones job. Teacher’s more than most professional groups, must keep their emotional lives in check in order to establish positive relationships with children and their families alike. In this profession you have to be prepared for the unexpected.
My role of a teacher has became a role of a Mamma & Grandma at the same time. Providing educational strategies for both the children and parent’s is essential. And good parent teacher communication is a must. You sometimes be surprised the things that families are lacking and are in dyer need of. The basic essentials of a healthy diet, furniture, clothing, pampers, formula. Or even a simple referral to agencies that can help them with Health care, Child Care, Job Preparation, WIC, rent & utilities, Education. Parents as well as children need to know about the program that are here to assist and prepare them for the work force. Some times they just need someone to point them in the rite direction.
Many children have come and graduated or moved on. Children grow up so fast. Every year children arrive not knowing how to speak English, nor how to write there names or readily identify numbers, letters, or shapes you be surprised that these children are the communicators for there families. It’s heart felt when a son at the age of 4 can read better than there parent’s.
If I can make a difference in a child’s life letting them know that dreams do come true. Instilling in them that “We can do all things”, “Never say I can’t do it, Say I will do, I Can do.” I would tell them start small and build on success. Remember that we must praise the child for steps toward independence. Communicate the child’s success. Let them know they matter. Children’s cheerful laughter and renewed enthusiasm for classroom activities will be wonderful music to your ears. The best part of education for me is when my students come back and say how well they are doing and bring their kids so I can help them as well. I am thankful for all the experiences of my life. My experiences gave me the eagerness and aspiration to keep going. Education is essential and is the pathway to take you anywhere in the world to do and be whatever it is you put you mind too.
About the Author
Early Childhood Bilingual Educator residing in Orlando, FL.