New English teacher says students are responsible for their learning

The Magnet Tribune: Miguel Zamarripa
Pre-AP English 1 instructor Ricardo Carrillo teaches a grammar lesson during a recent 5th block class.

Miguel Zamarripa, Staff Writer

Pre-AP English I teacher Ricardo Carrillo is in his first year at VMT.

Although Carrillo knew about VMT, he never knew that VMT is one of a kind.

“I heard about VMT and I thought it was a good idea because I myself was in band at Nixon High School, so I thought that it would be great and would be a good opportunity for other areas of art and different types of arts like painting, sculpture, dance and all the music. VMT has its own culture, its own atmosphere,” Carrillo said.

Carrillo likes students here at VMT. He thinks students here are very different, in a good way. He thinks VMT staff members are very professional at their jobs.

“What I like about VMT is the staff. They are very professional. They treat me very well, and same thing with my students. Everyone is nice, even students that I don’t teach are very courteous to me,” Carrillo said.

Carrillo has been teaching for 17 years; he teaches mostly English. He has also taught at Cigarroa Middle School and LCC (Laredo Community College). Now he is at VMT and some days teaches after school at LCC.

He said he has discovered things he didn’t know he had in his teaching years. He realized that he has more patience that he thought he had, and he’s more demanding of his students.

“One of the things I’ve learned about myself is that I think I have more patience than what I thought I had. I’ve also found over the years that I have to go back and do less research into things to make learning easier. I’m finding myself more demanding, and I have higher expectations, especially at this school. They need to be higher,” Carrillo said.

What I like about VMT is the staff. They are very professional. They treat me very well and same thing with my students. Everyone is nice, even students that I don’t teach are very courteous to me.”

— Pre-AP English 1 teacher Ricardo Carrillo

As all teachers, Carrillo also has goals for his students. He has a philosophy, and that philosophy is “responsibility.” He said as a teacher he thinks that as he performs instruction what’s left is for students to be responsible to do as they are taught.

“My teaching philosophy, it goes along with responsibility. As a teacher I need to explain to them, but once that’s taken care of then I believe that it’s the students responsibility to take the instruction and apply it and just be responsible for all the work and also, as a teacher, getting instruction to that student,” Carrillo said.

Carrillo, like any other teacher, faces challenges in the teaching world. What seems more challenging to Carrillo is looking for ways to teach the lesson and help students understand what he is trying to say. When he has a way to present a lesson but students don’t understand is what’s hard for Carrillo.

“What I find very challenging is having to look for different ways to present something when they don’t get it. So what’s hard is trying to look for another way to teach them the lesson, in a different way so they can understand,” Carrillo said.

Carrillo, as any other person at VMT, is happy to be here. He enjoys the atmosphere, students and especially the staff. Carrillo is very thankful to be a part of VMT.

“I’m very thankful for the district and Dr. (Martha) Villarreal (school director) to have me here at VMT,” Carrillo said.