Ms. Zamora, Teaching English with A Smile

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Ms. Zamora (right) said, "It's nice working with my mother (left) because she is someone who gets the struggle of being a teacher, and someone that has a fantastic wealth of knowledge I can tap into."

By Christopher Bellina, Layout editor

With a smile always on her face, she enjoys presenting new material to her students. English teacher Ms. Zamora is one of the best teachers in her department.

 

Upbringing

Ms. Zamora was born in Cuba on June 13 in a year she would not like to disclose.  Her family consists of her mom, aunt, and “three wonderful fur babies.” Her mom, Miami High ESOL teacher Ms. Caldevilla, brought her to the U.S.A. when she was 3 years old.

“It was a process to get here, but we got here through Guantanamo Bay,” said Ms. Zamora. In addition to being a teacher at Miami High, her mother worked 3 other jobs to support her including work at Miami Dade College, Saturday tutoring in Shenandoah Library, and being a private tutor.

All her homework had to be done with no C’s in the gradebook or she would not be allowed to go out.  Remembering her childhood, Ms. Zamora said, “I was a kid that wouldn’t easily be silenced. I was a very opinionated person.”

After attending Coral Way Elementary, she attended South Miami Middle School for drama. She said, “I was good at English, but at first it wasn’t the most enjoyable thing to do.” Additionally, before high school, she said that she could not try very much and still get A’s and B’s, so she wasn’t very motivated to study.

When she attended International Studies Charter High School and started taking rigorous courses, she began to study harder and take school more seriously, eventually leading her to Florida International University where she got a bachelor’s degree in English.

 

English Teacher

Besides besides being an English teacher, Ms. Zamora thought about being a veterinarian, but she continued studying education because she didn’t want to work with needles or must put an animal down. She has been teaching since 2014 and is now in her 6th year teaching at Miami High.

Her favorite part of being an English teacher is the relationships she builds with the kids. The worst thing is “when kids are their own worst enemy.” The problem sometimes is that some kids say they care, but they put their heads down on the desk, put in headphones, and disengage.

Unlike many professionals, Ms. Zamora has her mom as a peer in her job. “It’s nice working with my mother,” she said, “because she is someone who gets the struggle of being a teacher, and someone that has a fantastic wealth of knowledge I can tap into.” This helps because teachers have the problem of having friends that are in other careers, who will not understand the struggle that comes with being a teacher.

 

Key Club Sponsor

Ms. Zamora became Key Club’s sponsor when she came to Miami High and the current sponsor was stepping down. She enjoys watching the officers of the club grow as people.  “They become more dependable and more responsible,” she said.

Indeed, former Key Club president and Miami High alumna Jody Martinez said, “Being Key Club President opened many doors for me. It taught me how to communicate effectively, how to lead, and how to serve the community.”

Sponsoring a club, however, also has its challenges. Ms. Zamora said, “It’s quite difficult in the beginning of the year with homecoming because of all the preparation that goes into it.” It brings a lot of stress and makes demands on your time and money.

Current Key Club president Ana Gamboa said Ms. Zamora is a very dedicated, supportive, and caring advisor. “It is inspiring for me to see how much she gives without expecting anything in return, how she is always there to help, and how much she works to improve herself and teach us how to improve ourselves at the same time every day,” said Ana.

 

Life Outside of School

Working towards more degrees is part of her activities outside of work. She has already completed one master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is going on to complete another in English Education.

In summer, Ms. Zamora makes time for the activities she otherwise does not have time for, such as traveling and spending time with friends. Whenever time allows, she likes to read which helps her grow, learn, understand empathy, and keep her mind sharp. She also takes care of her dogs.

 

 

Do you know Ms. Zamora?

  1. How long has she been teaching?
  2. What master’s degree has she already finished?
  3. What activities does she do outside of school?
  4. When did she come to the U.S.?
  5. Where did she go for high school?