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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Coleman

Patricia Castro: Simplicity in the classroom

Updated: Apr 14, 2022

Patricia Castro of Harmony School of Science didn’t know she had the talent to teach, but her mom did. In classic “mom knows best” fashion, Patricia’s mom told her she should teach. While she was confused about her future during her first few years of college, she ran with it once she got that advice and never looked back.

It almost seems comical that Patricia Castro didn’t realize she was destined to teach. From a young age, Patricia loved to teach and help. “I’ve always tutored and helped cousins,” she said, “and math was my preferred subject.” It just made perfect sense, and she was hooked after her first few education classes in college.

Though teaching came naturally to Patricia, balance didn’t always. Investing in herself and her career was a challenge initially. “I’m a full-time mom and wife, so I had to tell myself, ‘this is the time for teaching, and this is the time for home life,’” explained Patricia. She focuses on growth in her classroom more so than simply numbers on test scores. “I think that if, overall, students didn’t grow, I need to reflect back on this topic and what I did. I like to put myself as a student and do the work as a student,” says Patricia.

Patricia values simplicity in her classroom, which shines through in her teaching approach. “A lot of teachers love to go above and beyond with PowerPoints and worksheets and projects, but I’ve learned simplicity is a big one,” she said. She focuses on being straightforward with her students and telling them what needs to be done. “It’s not confusing, and it’s not confusing for the teacher as well” is how Patricia summed it up.

Patricia routinely gets the feedback that she “comes off as a mom” in her classroom. “I first thought that meant I was coming off sweet,” said Patricia, “but they’re like no, you come off as a strict mom. One who loves you and will do anything for you but will also get on you.” Patricia realized that was an accurate assessment and has embraced it. Her classroom is demanding, but a welcoming and home-like environment for her students.

Photo courtesy of Patricia Castro

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