Bringing an idea to life: the importance of valuing a teacher’s idea

By Marcia Hernández
Winner of ReachingU Teacher Prize

Before 2020, such a peculiar year, we were surely unable to imagine many of the scenarios we would have to experience.

The year was marked by continuous changes, and overnight, we teachers had to re-imagine and re-create ourselves to reach all our students, in an unprecedented situation.

            Many of us learned as we went along, learning amidst insecurities, perhaps discovering skills that we would not have been able to see in a normal scenario.

            This is how it all happened, so very simply and in an effort to achieve better results with my students, our beloved Radio Alegria was born. The idea took shape and momentum over the weeks, as we noticed significant achievements in communication between teachers, students, and families. The effect was not limited to learning; it also played a key role strengthening the bond with the children.

            We never imagined that this tool that helped us so much, and that even today continues to support other children, would turn into something with greater impact, motivating other teachers and students to work under the same conditions we were in when we started – a situation that still persists.

            It was after the whole process of application and selection of the ReachingU Award that I became fully aware of the importance of the project, something that I had initially seen simply as an activity and strategy. As teachers, we often create and implement incredible ideas in our daily work, but we may not consider them important, or we are unaware of their impact on our children and the educational community.

            After receiving the Fundación ReachingU Teacher of the Year Award, I experienced a whirlwind, and I can now speak clearly about a “before and after”. It was not only because of the award itself, but also about being able to value my role as a teacher, as a leader for my children and their families even more. It is a renewal of energy and commitment to our work, I am very grateful for all the affection I received, both from my educational community, and from all the people who reached to me and acknowledged my idea, despite its simplicity.

          We teachers are undoubtedly transforming agents and it is in our hands to decide to face this challenge day by day. Obstacles often outpace opportunities, but it is up to us to choose how to walk this path. I am still convinced that the love we put into our work must always be the driving force.

            I applaud, celebrate and value each one of the teachers who are turning brilliant ideas into reality in our country, and I thank the Foundation for this type of recognition that values the task of teachers and feels like a caress.