Our next Staff Spotlight goes to one of our bilingual teachers, Janie Porras.
Mrs. Porras started her 20th year working at DCP this school year. How does one reach a milestone like that at the same workplace? Well, it not only has to do with Mrs. Porras' love for teaching young children, but it's also the fact that she works at a preschool whose mission aligns with hers.
"This school is literally built on love for young children and it has been for the last 48 years it's been open," Mrs. Porras said.
Mrs. Porras refers to the DCP slogan, 'the school that love built' for its love and dedication to helping preschool students reach their full potential by preparing them for success in school and life.
Mrs. Porras is one of two bilingual teachers we have at DCP today, however, obtaining that title was not easy. Like many second-generation students, Mrs. Porras grew up in a household that mainly spoke English. As a result, when she first started at DCP she had to relearn her Spanish speaking skills to be able to communicate with the Spanish speaking DCP parents. Luckily, they were very patient with her and Mrs. Porras appreciated them for correcting her Spanish.
She says one of the hardest things for her, as a teacher, is that she only gets to see the children for two years if they start out as soon as they're three and in some cases, have even younger children of two years of age! However, it's rewarding to see them learn and grow, and she can get a feel for the level of impact she has left her children with when she'll bump into her former students at the grocery store from time to time and they say hello.
"Hearing a former student come up to me and say 'Maestra Porras' is so meaningful to me because that means they not only remember me, but they must have had a lasting impact from something they learned in class," Mrs. Porras said. "I just ask that they bare with me because, after 20 years of teaching, it's hard to remember all the students I had during that time."
When Mrs. Porras isn't in the classroom or working on lesson plans for the following week, Mrs. Porras likes to sew, read novels, and spend time with her granddaughter.