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April 2022: ABC10's Teacher of the Month is Miguel Perez

Miguel is a 5th grade teacher at Language Academy in Sacramento, CA.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Miguel is a 5th grade teacher at Language Academy in Sacramento, CA. ABC10 asked Miguel a few questions about his career in teaching. This is what he had to say:

How long have you been teaching?

I've been teaching at the Language Academy for 10 years (9 years in 4th grade and 1 year in 5th grade).

What subject do you teach?

I teach multiple subjects including reading, writing, math, social studies, and science. Since I teach at a bilingual charter school, I teach these subjects in Spanish as well as English.

Why do teachers matter?

I believe teachers matter because they are important role models and they inspire their students to succeed in life. I believe that most people have that one favorite teacher that they still remember long after having been in their classroom. Teachers have long-lasting impacts on their students and they have the ability to change lives for the better.

What do you love about teaching?

What I love most about teaching is working with my students. I am always amazed to see how much these students grow in just a single school year. I especially love those moments when we come together as a class and bond with each other, whether it's playing a game together or laughing over a joke someone told. I truly cherish these memories.

What are the challenges of teaching?

The biggest challenge of teaching is adapting to the unexpected. Each year brings a new cohort of students with different learning styles and academic/social-emotional needs. Our job as educators is to identify all of these and to create a plan for success and growth. Other unexpected circumstances, such as a transition to virtual learning caused by a pandemic, challenge teachers to act fast and adapt so that we are able to meet the needs of our students.

Who was your favorite teacher growing up?

My favorite teacher was my 5th-grade teacher, Ms. Wangan. Her kindness and dedication to our academic success motivated me to do well in school. It also inspired me to become a teacher so that I could serve as a positive role model for my own students.

What is your favorite student success story?

My favorite student success story would be a student that I worked with for two school years that made major advances in her reading fluency. She was so proud of her progress and now she loves reading!

What advice do you have for the future teachers of America?

Make friends with the office staff and the school custodians. You'll need their help more often than you think!

What advice do you have for parents?

Maintain a positive and supportive line of communication with your student's teacher. Also, your child's learning does not end once they leave the classroom. Make a plan and structure opportunities for learning outside of school.