Beyond the desk: Longtime teacher passionate about her job

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Teachers, professors and sometimes doctors all have something in common —  they all enjoy teaching. Located in Stockton but working at French Camp Elementary School, Monica Retamoza has been teaching for 21 years from kindergarten to first and second grade.

“You don’t just go home and you’re done teaching, it goes with your everywhere,” said Retamoza, who said there isn’t a place where teachers don’t think about school and the things to do for students. “I go to the store and I think, oh my God, this would be great activity to do. I need these puffy balls or this glitter for my students.”

At home, teachers grade student’s homework and work on class projects and assignments for their next day. Teachers also sacrifice breaks and their own time in order to get their work finished and ready for when their students come back from recesses’ and or their weekend.

Despite elementary teachers having recess and lunch breaks, they continue working on class activities, assignments, and grading. During recess, sometimes Retamoza helps her students with homework questions, she makes phone calls to parents, meets with other teachers, prepares for the next lesson, return emails, takes bathroom breaks, and much more.

Although the day may be over for students, the day is not over for her. Retamoza works to gets her lessons ready for the next day.

She also takes advantage of the time to correct any homework assignments making sure that it is all complete. It might seem like teachers know exactly what to do the next day, but it is not always that way.

Retamoza enjoys her days of teaching.

“You’re the best part of their day,” Retamoza said she tells herself when she has a stressful day.

First days of school can also be exciting and overwhelming for both teachers and students. Retamoza said she gets nervous on the first day of school hoping that she has everything ready for a new school year.

As many people, not all teachers knew they wanted to become teachers.

Some teachers have been through different major changes or including different obstacles and opportunities before deciding whether they wanted to become a teacher or not. In her journey toward the profession, Retamoza said “maybe everything is pushing me towards teaching even though I wasn’t going that direction.”

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