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Teacher Spotlights

Teaching Excellence Teacher Spotlight: Etna Tiburcio

What organization do you work for?

Spring Branch ISD

What grade-level and subject do you teach?

4th grade bilingual, self-contained at Shadow Oaks ES

Where did you attend college and in what did you major? List all that apply.

Brown University- B.A. Community Health

What is the best part of teaching? What is the most difficult part of teaching?

The best part of teaching is seeing the progress students make over the school year. I have students who disliked writing, but now love it. I have students who were not able to maintain academic discussions in English who are now walking other students through math problems in English!

The most difficult part of teaching is differentiating for my students. I have SPED students who are reading at a second grade level, and I have GT students who understand concepts the minute they see them! This is an area I am constantly seeking to improve in so that next year I do an even better job at differentiating lessons.

Describe a successful teaching strategy that you use in the classroom. How does this impact your students’ achievement?

I always use positive behavior narration, and this works like a charm. With behavioral narration I am always able to communicate the behavior I want to see. This gives my students a chance to correct the unwanted behavior before receiving a consequence. Having a class that is well-managed means that I spend little to no time correcting behavior, and more time teaching content or pulling small groups without interruptions.

What 3 words would you use to describe the experience of participating in Teaching Excellence?

Strategic, Informative, Supportive

When you are not working on closing the achievement gap, what do you enjoy doing?

I love watching movies, especially on rainy days!

If you could create a t-shirt with a slogan that represents your philosophy of education, what would it say and why?

You can do anything you put your mind to!

I always tell my students that if they work hard enough and believe in themselves, they can accomplish their goals. I think that for many of my students this has made a difference, because they know that I will always be pushing them to do their best because I believe that they can reach their academic goals. Furthermore, I use this slogan to push myself when things start to seem stressful; I know that in the end, I will be successful, because I believe in myself and the cause I am fighting for.

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