Ernest Sanchez, a finalist last year for an Excellence in Education award, has taught at Lane Elementary School for 30 years, his entire career. He stresses the importance of problem-solving skills with his students and is a life-long learner himself. He teaches fourth grade.
What made you decide to be a teacher?
I wanted to do something with my life that would encompass the different areas of knowledge and share that with others, as well as be a "pusher"' to those who wanted to know more about how the things around them worked.
What do you enjoy the most about teaching?
I enjoy it when students learn something and they come back later and demonstrate an application to their real lives.
What do you enjoy specifically about teaching at Lane?
At Lane we have a community of the hardest working professionals around. The staff here is dedicated to improving the lives of children in many, many facets, not just the academic. To be surrounded by these people is to be loved, nurtured, and respected all at the same time. I've learned so much from being a part of their lives and have become a better teacher because of them.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Having to work with students that have various disadvantages (economic, social, etc.) and trying to fill the gaps in their lives. I end each year wondering if I did enough to help the child grow and be ready for success in the following years.
What is your favorite subject to teach?
Math, the universal language.
If you were not a teacher, what career would you choose?
An engineer, either civil or railroad.
What book are you recommending to others right now?
"The Book of Five Rings" by Miyamoto Musashi, a wonderful manual for dealing with people and challenges. Not a book for the young.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
I would like to travel back into time, within my lifetime, and get a more clear vision of events and people close to me.
Name one thing most people do not know about you.
I am a very shy, quiet and reserved person most of the time, contrary to my persona at school.