Today’s Guest of Honor is Paula Ramirez, M.Ed. and she is the teacher behind Creative Expressions TeachersPayTeachers store and the Creative Expressions blog. Please visit her store and/or blog and leave her some “love” 😉
Here are Paula’s answers to my interview:
How long have you been a teacher?
Why did you become a teacher?
I loved the learning process, and I truly felt I had something to offer. I have always loved reading and writing and wanted to share my passion with others. I hope I have made the world a bit better through teaching.
Which grades have you taught so far?
6th – 12th
What subjects do you rather teach?
English/Language Arts, Spanish, ESL
What is your favorite aspect of being a teacher?
The best part of teaching was when I would make a student smile for whatever reason. Another best part was when I actually saw a light bulb come on in a student’s brain. If something I did made that light bulb come on, that smile was just the best thing in the world.
Tell us about the teacher that most made an impression on you as a student.
Mrs. Dora was the teacher I had in 0 (zero) grade. Those of us who spoke no English when we entered the U.S. schools went to Mrs. Dora’s classroom. Of course, needless to say, most of us did not feel too smart because we spoke no English. Mrs. Dora never gave up on us, and she was a wonderful teacher. Looking back, I realize that she worked really hard to have us learn English. All of her lessons were rich with language. I loved learning with her.
Tell us a funny/interesting story that happened to you during your career as a teacher.
During my third year as a teacher, I taught 9th grade language arts in the high school I had graduated from in 1974. My oldest sister had my students as her 7th and 8th grade students, and I had big shoes to fill. Her former students would walk into my classroom at the beginning of the year. The most common observation I heard from my new students was, “You are so different from Mrs. _____. Now that I am retired, I wish I had asked them to write an essay to gather elaboration and understanding about their comment.
What advice would you give a new teacher? (Something that you wish you had known when you first started.)
I would tell a new teacher to believe in herself and not to spend one minute worrying about whether she could have done a better job. I know that in order to become better teachers and people, we need to reflect, but I spent too much time worrying about whether I was a good enough teacher.
What does your ideal classroom look like?
My ideal classroom has an ideal place for everything to make it easier for students and teacher. My classroom has a theme with bright colors and smart uses for all of the things I have in the space. My ideal classroom is a place where students enjoy being there.
What drove you into becoming a Teacher-Author at TeachersPayTeachers?
I started writing seriously at a very early age, and I wish I had kept the stories I wrote in the 3rd and 4th grade. I was always a reader and writer and got some of my childhood stories published in my early 40’s. After early retirement due to illness, my sister googled my description of my dream job, and TpT was the result that my sister found. She set me up with a new laptop, membership, and encouragement. I never looked back as we loaded our first products in June, 2013.
From all the products in your store, which one is your favorite and why?
Sombrero Sentences is my favorite product in my store. I used this activity with thousands of middle-school students within the last five years, and they loved it. It worked really well for my students and me. I found out about my students while giving them a safe environment in which to learn and experience the sounds of a new language whether it was English or Spanish. The activity was easy to grade but provided such an avenue for assessment. The students got to listen, speak, read, and write. And they even got to color, cut and paste….fun, fun, fun.
[click the image to go to the product’s TpT page!]
Anything else about yourself that you would like us to know?
My first degree (B.S.) was in Criminology and Corrections. I taught incarcerated youth after receiving my teaching certifications for about six years through out my teaching career.
As a special treat for our readers, Paula will be hosting a flash freebie on a special bundle, this Sunday from 8 pm to 10 pm CST. Make sure you drop by her store on Sunday and grab the bundle HERE 🙂
I hope you enjoyed reading about today’s Guest of Honor! Don’t forget to follow this blog and get to know more of my guests 😉