As we come to the close of our National Hispanic Heritage month, there’s one more admired Shero I’d like to honor: Zelma Urzua!! She’s a first grade teacher and Kindergarten Intervention Teacher in the city of Antioch.
This is Zelma’s 7th year teaching in the classroom. She was an exceptional substitute, reading teacher, and is now loving first grade. Prior to entering the classroom she ran a fun and successful daycare as she cared for her three children. Time spent in early education deepened Zelma’s understanding and capacity to teach the whole child, and skills in providing early interventions.
We met while working on the goals of preparing young students for kindergarten. She was a driving force behind developing sequential lessons, establishing an exemplary classroom environment, and modeling lessons for our team to assure our summers were fun and engaging. We continued our journey together as full time reading teachers.
Zelma is a fierce yet gentle advocate of early literacy for her students, and she goes to great depths to assure all of them succeed. Unfortunately, this includes spending a lot of her own money to make up for the disparities and lack of books at her school and classroom. Her magical ingredients of love, patience, humor, and All Out FUN make her a magnet for children. She’s able to keep the engagement and rigor high, while gently leading them to great successes.
I advocate for my students to read as much as they can because reading is power. “
What I’ve always admired about Zelma is that she’s able to talk to kids on their level, eye-to-eye, in a manner that shows complete respect while validating their feelings, yet she’s able to guide them toward making appropriate choices. This is a true gift. Her classrooms are really fun and creative places to be.
I salute you My Chica! Thank you for sharing your gift of friendship with me and your awesome gift of teaching with all of our students. Love you muchissimo xoxoxo
I love teaching first grade and inspiring my students to be their best.”