This month, meet Miss Ioana, who comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience. From earning various degrees internationally to being a literacy tutor here at Escuela de Guadalupe, Miss Ioana tells us about how she was inspired by the teacher mentors in her life. Read on to learn more!
Where are you originally from?
I was born in Romania, but I’ve lived in Venezuela since I turned 20 years old. My husband and I moved to Denver in 2011. As you can see, undoubtedly my background is multicultural, which enabled me to quickly adapt to Escuela’s community.
What was your dream job when you were in elementary school?
I’ve had three beloved teacher mentors in my life: the grandparents on my mother's side and my dad. So, when faced to choose what to do after graduating from college, I decided to follow in their steps and become first a university professor and researcher and lately, here in Denver, an elementary school teacher. I had the opportunity to transition to almost all teaching levels, including middle and high school, principally in the math and Spanish language areas.
What did you study in college?
I got my engineering degree at University Simon Bolivar in Caracas. After that, already being a university math professor, I got a masters’ degree in Technology of Education in Salamanca (Spain). Here in Denver, I studied for three years at Colorado Christian University to get my K-6 elementary teaching license. I’ve always been in love with teaching all levels of mathematics, but lately I’ve realized that Language Arts is as important as Math, or even more, especially for young kids. That’s why in the short run I’m planning to get an endorsement certification for this area.
When/why did you join the Escuela de Guadalupe team?
I first joined Escuela’s team at the beginning of 2014 for my Field II learning experience, Miss Maribel being my first cooperating teacher. During the first semester of the 2014-2015 school year I did the required student teaching with 4th and 5th grade, in Mr. Jose’s and Miss Miriam’s classrooms. At Escuela de Guadalupe I met what I feel is my second family. I didn’t hesitate when at the end of that school year I was offered to be a substitute for the Spanish intensive tutor. I liked doing it! So, I finally got a part time position for the school year 2015-2016, and a full time 4th and 5th grade Literacy Tutor position since September 2016.
What is your favorite part of teaching?
My favorite part of teaching is that I learn with and from my students. The daily interactions with the kids provide me with clues about who each one really is, what they're thinking, and what they need in order to learn. I believe that small comments from students can cause large shifts in my understanding of learners, curriculum, and classroom dynamics. Learning from the kids is how I not only deepen my practice, but also “recharge” myself, and negotiate the complexity of teaching and learning.
What do you do for fun on the weekends? Any special talents?
I love the outdoors, and as often as I can I go camping and hiking with my husband. Sometimes, we just take the car and wander Colorado’s infinite roads, trails, and hidden treasures. I also enjoy reading, classical music and meeting with friends. On vacation I always fly to Florida to be with my daughters and two grandsons.