Montague Village Elementary Teacher and A&M Central Texas Alum Erika Hernandez describes her career as a “blessing”
Special to Leader-Press
Ask anyone who’s ever been an elementary classroom teacher what it’s like to be surrounded by 20+ boisterous four year olds for 40 hours a week and you might want to sit down for the answer.
To be sure, teachers see it all on a daily basis. The good and the challenging. But at Montague Village Elementary School, in the Pre-K classrooms, it’s precious sweetness spiced with the potential of random tantrums, sticky fingers and runny noses, bows and boots and tennis shoes, curiosity and playground wisdom mixed in with daily lessons and innocent questions and unending patience. Lots and lots of patience. But for Erika Hernandez, 27, her job as a Pre-K to 4 teacher is a blessing.
Describing how she began her college career at Central Texas College, majoring in pre-dentistry, Hernandez admits that she was struggling and unhappy with her major. One day, she says, she went to see her advisor, completely ready to drop her courses and leave college.
The advisor, she says, would have none of that, recommending that she look into an introductory course in education. “After that,” she says, “I fell in love. So many blessings came from that one piece of good advice. I am so blessed. Teaching is my purpose.”
Having completed the teacher certification program at A&M Central Texas in 2018, Hernandez’ first day as a classroom teacher began this past fall. It was, she said, also her first day as a graduate student in the curriculum and instruction graduate degree.
“I absolutely love being a teacher,” she said brightly. “And I owe where I am to the Teacher Certification program at A&M Central Texas.
Describing the programmatic elements that spurred her along, Hernandez praised her professors, adding that she had maintained contact with them, even almost one year after graduation.
“The program is designed to introduce the student to the classroom gradually,” she added. “Once we had mastered the theory and best practices, we were introduced to the classroom a little at a time. We’d begin by working with a student one to one, then we co-taught, then there was student teaching and clinicals. By the time we were finished, I had real-world experience in grades K-5 that I could build on, so that first day in the classroom felt entirely natural and wonderful.”
A&M Central Texas is part of The Texas A&M University System initiative called We Teach Texas that encourages prospective teachers to pursue their teaching career at one of the 11 system universities. According to the We Teach Texas website, the A&M System universities produce more fully certified teachers than any other Texas university system.
Visit the A&M Central Texas We Teach Texas page for more information about the teaching program or call 254.519.8737. https://weteachtexas.org/#TAMUCT