Today's spotlight feature is Julieta Rico! Julieta is a UT Graduate who is currently a Corps Member in the Rio Grande Valley. She teaches 7th grade reading. During her time at UT, Julieta majored in English with a minor in Mexican American & Latino/a Studies and was active in English Council, Minority Women Pursuing Law, and Women in Foreign Affairs.
Julieta is orignally from the valley - Brownsville, Texas. She did not learn to read until first or second grade, when one of her teachers took the time to help her learn. This teacher instilled in her a love of english and learning. Julieta's interest in TFA comes from seeing the difference effective teachers can make & wanting to give back to her own community.
After her commitment to Teach for America, Julieta plans to go back to school. She wants to pursue a PhD or law degree. Regardless of what the future holds, Julieta knows that her two years with Teach For America will inform her future career.
When asked about the most challenging aspect of teaching in her classroom, Julieta replied "Trying to be an approachable teacher while still being a firm leader. I strive to find a balance - I want students to talk to me and feel comfortable coming to me with issues, while maintaing an appropriate the student/teacher relationship."
Above all, Julieta holds that "being in the classroom and seeing the kids everyday makes everyday worthwhile. Watching students take knowledge out of my classroom and apply it to their lives is incredibly rewarding. It can also be daunting - it is a big responsibility to be in charge of a student’s education." She does not take this lightly! A common catch phrase in her classroom is "You got this!" Julieta believes in her students & pushes them to do the same.
Julieta's advice for future Corps Members? "Ground yourself in why you are doing this. I wrote myself a letter while I was in Houston during Institute training and I go back to it every time I have a bad day or the work gets hard. It reminds me why I'm in this work. It IS worth it. The kids are worth it."
Stay tuned for more Corps Member features each Tuesday afternoon! If you have any interest in applying, talk to our Recruitment Manager, Jorge Galan. He can be reached at Jorge.Galan@teachforamerica.org.