John Cabrera, building kindergarten relationships with patience and grace

| 29 Apr 2021 | 12:57
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week May 3-7, we asked local students to write us about their favorite teachers. You’ll find some of those letters in the print edition of the paper this week. We then then went out and interviewed those rock star educators. Here’s our teacher spotlight on John Cabrera

By Abby Wolf

Tell us about the past year, the good and the bad:

Building relationships with students has been my biggest joy over the past 17 years.

This year it has been a challenge to establish those relationships because of remote learning, mask wearing and social distancing rules. Thankfully, kindergarten students give so many opportunities to show each and every beautiful facet of their personalities.

What’s the secret to being a great teacher?

The secret to being able to reach a child is to show them that you care and that they matter to you, that you have high expectations for them and that you will do anything you can to help them meet those expectations.

One piece of advice for someone considering becoming a teacher?

Make sure you have plenty of patience. Children need to be spoken to in a respectful manner, even when they are not doing what they are expected to do both behaviorally and academically.

What was one of your best days on the job?

A teacher’s best days are those when their students’ eyes are opened to their instruction, but this doesn’t always happen and you need to have the patience to ride out the rough patches with grace.

Each one of my former students pushed me to be better for the next one.

What made you want to be a teacher?

A relative of mine was born with special needs. I was amazed at how his teachers advanced his skills over the years. The curiosity of how they accomplished this feat is what sparked my interest in education.

How do you spend your time when you’re not teaching?

When not teaching I spend most of my time with my family, going on hikes, watching movies and teaching my kids about our Catholic faith and personal finance.

What do you do to get refreshed?

I get refreshed by taking long walks with my incredible wife Jodi, listening to podcasts, praying and doing projects around the house.