SAN ANTONIO — This week’s Excel teacher truly understands some of her students’ struggles. She was once that kid. Now she says being an open book is key to their success.
"As a teacher, I make them really understand where they come from, it’s going to take a while but I’m going to get you there whatever it takes.”
Whatever it takes could very well be the title of Brenda Trejo’s autobiography.
The 4th-grade reading and dual-language teacher has overcome a lot of challenges since first coming to the United States as a child.
“Having that language barrier when I first came to the United States."
But Trejo conquered the language barrier with the support of her second-grade teacher, Ms. Gutierrez. To this day, Gutierrez also remembers Trejo.
“It is a privilege and an honor to have been Brenda’s teacher.”
That encouragement sparked a passion for learning in Trejo and her dedication has not gone unnoticed.
“Her involvement inside the classroom helping them prepare for life is phenomenal,” said Southwest ISD Superintendent Dr. Lloyd Verstuyft.
Trejo’s Principal Sylvia Acuna added to the compliments, “She doesn't just teach to one style of student. She's very diverse in what she does. She’s able to reach all and that includes adults.”
For 15 years, Trejo has made the classroom a safety net for her students. She gives them 110% and in return, she said, they give her a 110% back.
She believes the key to their growth is honesty, being an open book especially to the little ones who need her most.
“Teaching students not just content, being like a mother, being a guidance counselor, a nurse, a cheerleader, so we can motivate and encourage them.”
And doing whatever it takes to help them find their passion, as she does whatever it takes to live hers.
“I know I have so much to still do, but it makes me feel proud of them and proud of myself because I know I’m making a difference in their lives, when they do that, I know I’m here, I’m in the right place, this is my calling.”