Edtech Digest | October 10, 2017
IN CLOSE WITH | Yvonne R. Zamora
The principal of Mims Elementary in Mission, TX, Yvonne Zamora shares her thoughts on building a society within her school and why she wishes social media had never been invented.
GETTING STARTED How did you get started as an educator, and how has your job changed over the years?
I began my career as a second-grade teacher at an impoverished school, which was in my neighborhood, only two blocks away from my house. I served as an educator for my neighbor’s children for six years. During those years, I got involved with University Interscholastic League (UIL) and General Education Diploma (GED) in search of other means to serve students and our community.
Once we provide teachers with professional development, it is imperative that we integrate technology with fidelity and that we monitor its impact.
During the latter part of my teaching career, I completed my Master’s in Mid-Management in the fall of 1999. I began my administration career as an assistant principal at Mission Junior High and completed two years, only to return to my elementary roots. I served as an assistant principal at Mims Elementary for three years and have served for 12 years as principal at Mims Elementary.
During these 12 years, lots of changes have occurred. Instructional leadership and accountability are now at the cusp of the principal’s main responsibilities. Throughout the years, the focus has changed from guiding teachers, maintaining facilities, and overseeing students’ educational needs to becoming an instructional leader, guiding and providing teachers with feedback and professional development, holding all stakeholders accountable for student achievement and progress, and building capacity while delegating other, less pressing, issues.
INSPIRATIONS What inspires you about teaching? Do you have a slogan or mantra that guides you?
Being at the elementary level allows me to see our students for a period of seven years. We get to build their strengths and weaknesses. We get to build their cognitive, affective, and physical abilities. We get to see them grow and watch their personalities develop. They come at the early age of 4 years old and leave at the age of 11. We allot ample time to help them evolve. We do so with the assistance of the entire school staff, along with our parents and community, in an effort to provide them the best educational opportunities. You ask what inspires me: our students do!
Our mantra is “Simply the Best.” We dedicate our lives to our students each day because our students deserve simply the best!
We dedicate our lives to our students each day because our students deserve simply the best!
FAVORITE TECH What is your favorite tech tool right now and why?
My favorite tech tool right now is myON. We pair up myON with Chromebooks and we have opened new doors to our students. Our initiative is that every student has access to a class set of Chromebooks, and we are almost there. myON comes along and reinforces our vision to have a literature-rich environment which offers students a variety of experiences. Moreover, diagnosed and undiagnosed hyperactive students and students on the autism spectrum have a tool that allows them to enjoy literature while having their literacy needs met. In addition, that experience is not limited to the classroom for our students. myON allows at-home access not only to students, but to all community members. At last, the total reading experience is within our reach!