INSIDE THE CLASSROOM: Robert Nunez, National Dual Language Teacher of the Month at Willow Bend Elementary INSIDE THE CLASSROOM: Robert Nunez, National Dual Language Teacher of the Month at Willow Bend Elementary

Robert Nunez has been in education for nine years and has made a name for himself not only at Frenship ISD, but on a national level as well. Mr. Nunez was named April’s National Dual Language Teacher of the Month awarded by DualLanguageSchools.org.

Part of his letter of recommendation stated, “He is that dream teacher and model that we as parents all desire for our own children to have. It is a privilege and honor to have Robert Nunez as one of our dream dual language teachers who builds relationship with his students and educates our future leaders of tomorrow.”

Find out all of the reasons he is deserving of this award in the Q&A below:

Q: How long have you been involved in education?
Nunez: Nine years. Five years in Kindergarten, and now I’m wrapping up my fourth year in 5th grade. I am now teaching some of the same students I had in Kindergarten.

Q: What was your biggest influence in becoming an educator?
Nunez: I grew up working in the cotton fields during middle school and later as a mechanic in high school. I was not prepared for college because I was always working so much. I dropped out and became a truck driver in the oilfield industry. My mother insisted that I got back to school to be a teacher. Eventually, I found a narrow window of opportunity as a non-traditional student, (married and with three children), and started taking remedial courses. I ended up graduating Summa Cum Laude and earned a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas Tech University.

Q: What is your favorite part of being a teacher?
Nunez: I love connecting with the students in as many aspects of life. I attend as many birthday parties, quinceaneras and graduation events as I can. I believe that my students can accomplish anything. I strive to provide opportunities in the curriculum for each one of them to find and express talent. Every morning I make sure they know they are walking into the best classroom on earth, because they make it so! I see myself in them! Both in their academic development and in their creative ways of having fun and learning.

Q: What do you think makes your classroom stand out?
Nunez: My classroom is a very close knit family. I see in my students an honest spirit to look out for each other and encourage one another. They truly are invested in one another, whether it is academic or social support. My classroom is loud, and at times, it is very quiet. My classroom is dead serious, yet, we laugh a lot. They are calm and collective, and then we play loud music of all genres. In everything, we strive to do it with excellence.

Q: What does bi-literacy mean to you?
Nunez: Bi-literacy is a gift and a craft. It is a big deal that students can conduct research, think and problem solve in two languages. Bi-literacy is the ability to read for comprehension and listen for understanding in two or more languages. It is the beauty of expressing orally, or in written form, in two languages. One of my greatest rewards as a teacher is seeing my students growth throughout the year, developing their bi-literacy.

Q: What kind of impact do you see your students having in the world?
Nunez: I seek to instill a love for learning. When students enjoy the content and find the value in what they are learning, they strive to attain and create their own meaning. My students have learned the value of academics, and they will make their community a better place because of who they are as bi-literate citizens. I see my students being very successful leaders in many diverse fields.

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