By Gaige Davila
Ana González has returned to her roots.
González, who is teaching freshmen world geography at Port Isabel High School (PIHS) this year, her first year teaching, graduated from PIHS in 2017.
She played on the soccer team, was in DECA, National Honor Society and the Junior Leadership Council before heading 400 miles north to College Station, Texas. González graduated from Texas A&M this past May with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, specializing in 4th grade to 8th grade English Language Arts and Social Studies. González is also certified to teach 7th through 12th grade in all subjects of Social Studies.
González said A&M instilled a value of creating “global citizens” at their universities, and she wants to bring the same value to her students, giving them news and geography literacy.
“I spent all 12 years of my public education in Port Isabel and I saw the areas in which, I feel, lacked in some ways,” González said. “Look at the times we’re in now. I think a good Social Studies foundation is going to be so important in the lives of young students.”
González is looking forward to meeting and getting to know her students on that first week of school, starting August 23.
“I’m big on group work, I like collaboration and I think that’s how we get to know students on a deeper level,” González said. “I want them to interact with me, I want them to interact with their peers. They get to have fun, they’re engaged, which is what we always want for our students.”
González may have an advantage though: all of her incoming freshmen will have taken her mother Dorothy Gonzalez’s 8th grade social studies class at Port Isabel Junior High.
“She built such a rapport with students, all of her students always loved her,” González said. “She talks so highly of her students I already feel like I know some of them.”
González’s first semester of her senior year of university was spent over Zoom, a possibility that looms for her own classes as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in Texas.
“It’s kind of nerve wracking, for me, as a first-time educator,” González said. “The possibility of only getting to be around my students for a limited amount of time and then losing them to Zoom.”
González said the disconnection she felt between her and her classes during her senior year at A&M was difficult and does not want her students to endure the same feeling. But, as advised by PI-ISD’s administration, González is flexible.
“Definitely not the ideal situation, but we’re working with what we got. I will follow all the district guidelines and school guidelines and everything the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends.”
Meet Ms. González on Thursday, August 19, at PIHS from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. for this year’s Meet The Teacher event. All PI-ISD campuses will be open to meet instructors.
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