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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Coleman

Edna Castorena: Music and movement

Updated: Apr 14, 2022

Edna Castorena of Hidalgo Elementary didn't intend to return to her alma mater to teach. With a degree in international business, she headed back to Hidalgo High School to look for jobs in the business office. Instead, she ended up trying a teaching position to see if she would enjoy it. It was set after her first year, and she never looked back.

“I’m always looking for different ways to engage my students in the classroom,” said Edna Castorena about her teaching philosophy. With ample opportunities for professional development in her district, Edna tries to stay on top of the latest practices. She also leans on her coworkers who have decades of experience in education and talks “as much as [she] can with them.”

Though she’s constantly searching for ways to improve her teaching strategy, Edna isn’t exclusively focused on data – she also looks to enhance her classroom experience. “I love music and movement,” Edna said. “I’m always singing and dancing. My students are always singing and dancing.” Edna believes that the more you sing something, the more you internalize it, and “if you add the movement, it’s even better.”

Going to school in the same district she eventually taught at has benefits for Edna. “I’m from the community,” she said, and most of her students are the sons and daughters of her friends. “I like to invest in getting to know my students individually.”

Edna emphasizes that she loves teaching. With 20 years of experience, it’s safe to say that that isn’t an exaggeration! Her classroom is engaging and often loud, but she feels that her approach works for the younger students she teaches. “You can go to my school, and believe me, when you walk through those doors, you know where my classroom is at. We’re the ones making the noise!” said Edna. It’s a loud classroom, but one where she has a relationship with each student as an individual and a member of the community.

Photos courtesy of Edna Castorena

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