The Power Behind Educator’s Language as @RoMenendez14 hosts #txeduchat 6/12
Everyone calls her Ro, but her full name is Rochelle Menendez. She asks, “Ro seems a lot easier, doesn’t it?”
For more than ten years Ro has worked tirelessly in the bilingual elementary classroom to give each child new ways to view their immediate and future reality. She pushes their thinking globally, making it part of daily work to learn how to be better thinkers, exemplary citizens, and efficient problem solvers. For many years she relates that she was blessed with being the inclusion classroom in her grade level, facilitating the learning of children who needed extra support to face their personal challenges, and in return they offered back a wider vision of what diversity in learning, collaborating, and growing really meant. During her time in the classroom Ro was honored to receive the 2012 Teacher of the Year Rotary Club of Dallas Award, a distinction she says that she could not have received without the trust and support of all the parents, students, and administrators she worked shoulder to shoulder with.
Ro wanted to widen her reach, and seek out opportunities to touch the lives of more than just the 20 to 27 students she interacted and learned with in her homeroom on a yearly basis so she worked towards an MS in Educational/Instructional Technology Leadership and Library Sciences from Texas A & M, Commerce. This degree has afforded her the opportunity of calling all the students on a campus her own, and to help them evolve, grow, and mature over the course of their elementary school journey. She has now been a teacher-librarian for a year, and works each and every day to establish, sustain, and enhance a school-wide reading culture by carefully curating the school’s collection, listening and catering to students’ and teachers’ needs. Ro promotes events and initiatives that spotlight the fun and amazing power of reading, and strives to provide equal access to learning opportunities in the library through after-school activities such as MakerSpace Labs and Library Family Nights. She says that it is her mission to nurture a love of reading that will result in holistic gains for our students, their families, and the local and global community. Having students at the end of the year thanking her for “getting me into reading” gives Ro hope that she is on the right track.
As Ro begins her second year, she relates that her mission continues to be providing the reading experience as a gift, not a heavy load, through shared experiences in a safe and inspiring environment. She will intensify her efforts in Early Childhood Literacy by providing separate Storytimes at the library for children 0-4 years old, to make her school’s future students fall in love with reading before they formally enter a classroom. Ro will continue to find opportunities for students to interact with the global community, face-to-face and virtually, where they can seek a clearer understanding of the world, share their opinions, messages of hope and well-being to community members near and far, that will allow them to witness how their words, feelings, and thoughts empower others.