A day in the life of a teacher


The Magnet Tribune: Zoe Alvarez

Dania Saucedo grades her AP students’ assignments as her students work on their diarios.

Zoe Alvarez , Staff writer

Every day, people wake up and live their lives. It’s intriguing to learn about someone’s typical day, from students, parents, and more. Teachers have always been so fascinating, especially the ones that leave a great impact on me. My sophomore year I took Spanish 2 and was given the wonderful opportunity to take it with Dania Saucedo at J.W. Nixon. This is a day in the life of a teacher.

Saucedo was quite fond of the idea of becoming a teacher her whole life.

“I always knew I wanted to be a teacher,” she said.

Dania Saucedo, Spanish teacher at J.W. Nixon High school.

In her youth she enjoyed acquiring knowledge and sharing it with others.

“From a very young age I took a liking to learning new things and passing my knowledge onto others,” Saucedo said.

She became a teacher due to her enjoyment of working with students. It’s also her way of making a change in the world, no matter how big or small.

“I know that this is my way of making a difference in my little part of the world,” she said.

Her typical mornings consist of waking up at 5:00 a.m. to prepare for work. She also wakes up her children (two boys) to make them breakfast and get them ready for school. She leaves her house by 7:15 and arrives at her classroom by 7:40 a.m.. She then organizes herself for the day ahead of her.

“Rush, rush, rush!” she said as she described her mornings.

Her day is anything but slow and boring.

“I can tell what they are not like, dull!” she said.

Saucedo teaches four Spanish courses. They contain the levels of Spanish 1,2, and 4 at an AP level.

The Magnet Tribune: Zoe Alvarez
AP students work on their daily assignments.

Her schedule is:

First block: AP Spanish 4

Second block: AP Spanish 4

Third block: Lunch

Fourth block: AP Spanish 4

Fifth block: Planning period

Sixth block: Spanish 2 NSS

On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays Saucedo attends graduate school classes from 6:00 pm to 9:00 p.m. On Wednesdays she has her tutorials for her Spanish classes. She also catches up on grading and other work-related reports.

When she leaves work, she heads home and becomes the mother of the household. She cooks dinner and helps her children with their homework.

“Once I get home I take off my teacher shoes and put on my ‘mommy’ slippers,” Saucedo said. “At home I have a family to tend to and a house to a make a home.”

Her drive home from work and school is the easiest part of her day.

“Going home! It’s just my truck, my music, Loop 20, and me!” She said.

Her hardest part of the day is getting up in the morning and preparing for work when no one else has woken up.

“It’s waking up in the morning and getting ready for work while everyone at home still sleeps,” Saucedo said.

These are all the things Saucedo does on a daily basis: “My life is all about: work, school, and family; and a little fun now and then!”

She said she also has many daily responsibilities. These include her own children. She must get them ready for school. She needs to make certain that her children are doing well physically, emotionally, and mentally.

“I need to make sure that they are growing up healthy, happy, and strong; and most important that they are good people,” she said.

Along with her own children, she has her students to look after. She is responsible for their learning, physical, and emotional well-being.

“I am responsible for my students, all of them,” she said.

Saucedo not only has her students to look after, she herself is a student. She is responsible for her own homework, assignments, readings, and showing up to her classes.

“I am also a student,” she said.

She indeed has many responsibilities but most importantly she is responsible to take care of herself.

The Magnet Tribune: Zoe Alvarez
Dania Saucedo grades her AP students assignments as her students work on their diarios.

“I’m responsible for me,” Saucedo said.

She makes sure she is alright, well rested, restored, and ready to take on whatever the next day holds.

Saucedo’s highlight of her day is making bonds with her students.

“I love it when I make a connection with my students during a lesson, I love seeing them engaged, having fun, and learning,” she said.

She takes pleasure in seeing her students enjoy their class activities or stories they are reading, especially when her students grasp what is being taught in class.

“Seeing their eyes light up during that “aha!” moment when they understand a concept,” she said.

Her favorite part about being a teacher is doing what she enjoys most.

“I get to do what I love, I get to teach,” she said.

She loves that no day or block (class) is the same.

“I love it that every day even every block is different,” Saucedo said.

Her least favorite part of being a teacher is seeing the small amount of care in her students when it comes to learning.

“The apathy I see in some of my students for learning,” Saucedo said, especially when she knows that some students have no concern for learning, her class, and school itself.

“Knowing that this attitude will not help them get anyway in the future and that no matter how much I try to get them to care I just can’t reach them,” she said.

Along with the various difficulties of being a teacher, dealing with disruptive students is one of them. Saucedo is not the type of teacher to severely punish a student. She doesn’t believe in it. She chooses when to react this way and when not to.

The Magnet Tribune: Zoe Alvarez
Students from her morning AP class work on their daily “diarios.”

“I am the type of person who picks her battles,” Saucedo said.

She avoids unnecessary confrontations.

“I simply redirect the negative energy,” she said.

Fortunately, she said, this problem is a rarity due to her standards and expectations in the classroom.

“I set my rules from the first day of class and my kiddos know that in order to get respect they have to give it,” she said. “I rarely have problems with disruptive students because of the way I run things in my classroom.”

Saucedo’s favorite kind of students is those eager to take all the knowledge she will offer in her classes, especially the students who value their education.

“I like those students who like to learn, those students who are there because they want to be there,” she said. “Those who understand the importance of education and care.”

What excites Saucedo the most to teach students every day is the impact she is leaving on her class and helping shape her students’ intellects.

“Knowing that I am making a difference,” she said. “Helping mold these young minds.”

Along with changing their students’ lives, teachers are great inspirations. Saucedo has great hope that she leaves her students with inspiration.

“And hopefully inspiring them to become productive members of society,” she said.

Life requires many skills. Speaking a different language other than the one regularly spoken is quite an important skill to acquire. Saucedo firmly believes that students (and people) should learn Spanish along with other languages.

“Yes! It is very important, and not just Spanish, many languages,” she said.

The Magnet Tribune: Zoe Alvarez
Students must work on and complete daily “diarios”.

She finds that we all live in times where everyone can communicate with each other anywhere in the world. It can be from a neighbor who speaks Spanish, to a Japanese coworker. Language should not be a reason that people do not communicate.

“We need to be able to communicate with one another. The world does not revolve around English speakers!” She said.

Learning a language has its numerous hardships. Saucedo knows this and keeps that mentality when teaching her students Spanish. She does this by teaching her students at their own pace.

“With a lot of patience!” she said.

She finds that advancing in a language requires immersion.

“The best way to learn a foreign language is by fully immersing yourself in it,” she said.

She believes that there is no concrete process to teach a non-Spanish speaker.

“There is really no one true method or strategy to teach non-Spanish speakers, I just teach the concepts and reinforce with English,” she said.

Teachers are of utmost importance to the infrastructure of a society. Saucedo believes that teachers are indeed important.

“Of course we are! It may sound corny or cliché but teaching is the profession that builds all other professions…I truly believe that,” she said.

Saucedo has various goals as a teacher. These include influencing her students, having student remembrance, and spread appreciation of the positives of learning another language.

“My goal as a teacher is to make a positive impact on my students, to be that one teacher that they remember when they think back of their Spanish class in high school, and to spread awareness of the benefits of speaking a second or even a third language,” she said.

Teachers are one of the most crucial parts of society. They spread knowledge, a powerful tool every student needs when they go out into the real world. Teachers leave strong impacts, influences, and of course academic knowledge of students. This is the day in the life of a Spanish teacher, Dania Saucedo.