It takes a very special teacher to put her heart into touching and teaching her students. One first grade teacher is inspired by her own challenges she faced as a child. NewsChannel 11's Suleika Acosta takes us to Wollfarth Elementary for this edition of Teacher You Can Count On.
For 21 years, Bessie Saldana has dedicated her life to teaching. Her passion is helping students discover a love for reading. "They learn a lot of new concepts, especially in reading," she says.
It's a subject that Mrs. Saldana struggled with herself. "I just felt that I had trouble when I was going to school, just knowing a lot of Spanish and a teacher set some time aside just for me and that's what I like to do," explains Mrs. Saldana.
Her first language was Spanish. She faced challenges learning how to read English, but one fourth grade teacher made a dramatic difference in her education. "That particular teacher smiled all the time, she would talk to my parents, she would help me," says Mrs. Saldana. Now it's her mission to help students facing similar challenges everyday.
In addition to teaching a standard curriculum, Mrs. Saldana is also a bilingual teacher, but she focuses on making all her students strong readers and increasing their vocabulary. "They seem to be wanting to learn and that's what I like about first grade, they are always excited about wanting to learn something new," she says.
"And of course giving them like we say it in Spanish, bastante carino. And they like that, they like to feel special," says Mrs. Saldana.
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