Teresa Cabrera teaches fourth grade at Desert Mirage Elementary. This is her fifth year in teaching. She also did her student teaching in fourth grade, and says she enjoys this age group.
“They’re still fairly young but they’re starting to know themselves,” Cabrera explains. The kids are starting to discover the subjects and activities they love, Cabrera says, and “It’s just a fun age...I love my fourth-graders!”
Cabrera grew up in California. Her parents moved to the U.S. from Mexico when she was 6 years old. They moved to Arizona her senior year of high school.
When her family moved to the states, Cabrera says she was inspired by the teacher who made her feel welcome, her own fourth-grade teacher, Mr. Rickets.
“He made me feel included,” Cabrera says. “He’s a big part of why I am doing this.” She says that she strives to build relationships and “create an environment where students feel safe, feel welcomed.” She wants to make sure she gives her students confidence as well as lessons in math, reading and writing.
Cabrera was nominated by her student Eddie, who notes that his teacher “wants to help all of her students succeed and is so kind and caring.”
When she is not in the classroom, Cabrera enjoys doing arts and crafts, spending time with her family and being involved in the community.
You may have heard the phrase, it tastes like chicken. Well, don’t tell Cabrera that! “I am not big on eating chicken,” says Cabrera, who adds that people will give her funny looks when she divulges this culinary quirk.
Carera shares that when she was younger, she already had an interest in teaching. She would gather up the neighborhood kids to play school, and she was tutoring by middle school. She also had a musical bent, and played flute, piccolo and clarinet.
Her advice for students is: “No matter where you come from, no matter what life throws at us, there is light at the end of the tunnel. We just have to work hard and keep believing.”