Meet Lisset Carrasco:: Educator for 8 years, 3rd Grade at Grover Cleveland Elementary School, Chicago, IL
Shares Her Love For: Language Arts, Math, Writing, Science/Social Studies Inclusion, Phonics Inclusion, Handwriting
Spotlight on Her Commitment to: Letting every child tell their story
At The Sunshine Method, we strive to spotlight individuals in our communities who are making a difference every day. We had the amazing privilege of interviewing one of these individuals – 2018 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching Finalist Lisset Carrasco! Lisset is a guiding and empowering figure to her students, an educator that inspires us with her commitment to her children’s success both inside and outside of the classroom, and her mission to #ignitecuriosity and celebrate diversity with each and every child. Check out our interview with Lisset on her everyday goals as an educator, the most challenging aspect of the work she does, and one thing everyone should know about her students!
Sunshine: [Here at Sunshine, we start every morning with the goal to learn something new every day,] what is your goal when you walk into the classroom each morning?
Lisset: As an educator, my everyday goal is to motivate, guide, and foster creativity in all my diverse students. I strive to create a responsive environment where my students feel comfortable to make mistakes, where they push each other to investigate the world around them, and support each other through collaborative learning. My goal is to provide them with the tools necessary to become confident, active members, of our multicultural society.
Sunshine: [We all know that teaching has its challenges,] what would you say is the most challenging aspect of the work you do?
Lisset: The most rewarding challenge is helping my students become strong individuals. The diversity each child brings into our classroom through a plethora of background knowledge, cultures, and customs plays a strong role in their academic learning. The challenge is guiding my students in understanding the important role their individuality plays in our classroom culture. This individuality shapes and strengthens their academic path to lifelong learning.
Sunshine: [You know your students so well,] what do you wish everyone else could know about your students?
Lisset: I would want others to know that my students are all unique individuals and have the potential to be and do great things. That every child has a story to tell. That after taking the time to learn about them, their needs, motivations, and aspirations in life, I have learned that they are multifaceted little humans who have different learning modalities and paths but that they all have one thing in common: The capability to become anything they set their mind to be. All they need is someone to believe in them so that they can believe in themselves.
Thank you to Lisset, and all of our fellow educators that are committed to making a difference in a child’s life!
Meet Kary Zarate: Educator for 7 years, K-1st Grade at George B. Swift Specialty School, Chicago, IL
Shares Her Love For: English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Independent Functioning, Social Emotional Learning
Spotlight on Her Commitment to: Letting the children teach her
At The Sunshine Method, it is our mission to spotlight individuals in our communities who are making a difference each day. Recently, we had the incredible privilege of interviewing 2018 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching Finalist Kary Zarate! Kary is a leader and motivator in her community, an educator that inspires us with her commitment to honoring the individuality of her children, and a friend with the desire to nurture joy in the classroom. Check out our interview with Kary on her everyday goals as an educator, the most challenging aspect of the work she does, and one thing everyone should know about her students!
Sunshine: [One of our mottos here at The Sunshine Method is to ignite curiosity in our children each day.] What is your goal when you walk into the classroom?
Kary: Of course, each day when I walk into work I aim to teach students something academic, regardless of their ability. However, my real goal, is to connect with them on a human to human level; make them laugh, let them make me laugh, let them know I am there with them, even in the tough, frustrating moments that their disability might provide. Really, I want to know them better than I did the day before. That knowing is what helps me teach them the skills they need for life.
Sunshine: [Given your commitment to the children, we know that there are still tough days that we all encounter.] What would you describe as the most challenging aspect of the work you do?
Kary: The most challenging thing is when I get frustrated with myself. When a student isn’t learning a concept it’s up to me to figure out a better way to teach them and sometimes that takes a process of many mistakes on my end to figure out the best intervention, method, phrasing or presentation of information in order for a student to understand what it is I am asking them to do. I get really frustrated with myself when I struggle to figure it out early on in the learning process. Each student is so different in how they learn, and I want to honor that in my classroom.
Sunshine: [At the Sunshine Method, we understand the importance and benefit of getting to know each child as an individual to help meet their needs. As someone who also gets to know their students very well], what is one thing you wish everyone knew about your students?
Kary: This is great question! Even though many of my students are not super great at communicating verbally, that does not mean they don’t communicate and aren’t great at communicating in their preferred way! Similarly, my students have amazing personalities, they are funny, and like to joke around and often times, because they communicate differently, people don’t take the time to get to know them more personally. Sometimes, I just want to shake the adults and say “Slow down and pay attention! This kid has a lot to teach you!”