courtesy Charlene Duran
TRINIDAD — After teaching for 29 years, Fisher’s Peak Elementary fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Marquez, still loves teaching. She adds, “I want more for students, it’s not just about academics. I don’t want to prejudge students, I want to find out for myself and get to know students and form my own perceptions of who kids are, because kids change. I see a difference even when they go to fifth grade. Kids change year to year.”
Marquez came from a family of teachers but initially she wanted to be a stewardess until she realized flying made her sick. She said volunteering in the special needs classroom while in high school, “fueled my interest and passion by helping kids who needed more help than I did,” which changed her path and she set out to become a special education teacher. Her college professor had a different path in mind, with the following advice, “You will be more marketable as a general education teacher.” She went on to graduate from Adams State College with a master’s degree in elementary education and a minor in special education.
Twenty-four years of her 29 years of teaching have been at Trinidad School District because, “I feel productive here and enjoy my school and colleagues. It’s not hard to come to work every day.” She emotionally added, “Every day is a new day. I get up and am happy to go to work and work with kids. Each day is a new day, and we start again and do the best we can do. It is difficult but every day brings new challenges and new ahahs.”
Marquez’s mother and principals are her biggest supporters of her teaching career. She thankfully adds, “I’ve been very fortunate to work under good principals and have great relationships with colleagues, especially my grade level team.” She said she loves coming to school because, “Every day is new and I get to see progress with the kids educationally, developmentally and emotionally.” She expressed her desire to look at the whole child because, “Some kids don’t need extra help academically, rather emotionally.” She summarized, “I just want to be the best teacher for my kids, in whatever capacity.”
When Marquez moved back to Trinidad and her children were old enough to be in school, she was ready to get back into teaching. When asked why she chose Trinidad School District, she responded, “This is my home I grew up here. I love it here and wanted my kids to grow up in a small town.”
Throughout her career, Marquez has mentored student teachers. Her advice is, “In the beginning it is not easy, you really have to love what you are doing. Teaching is not a 9-5 job; you will have to work after hours preparing and planning.” She added, “Teaching is an extension of your daily life, even throughout the summer with classes and committees.”
Marquez keeps coming back year after year because she enjoys her school, her colleagues and she feels productive. She especially loves hearing from her students as they move on. “I love getting notes from students over the years that say, ‘you are one of my favorite teachers.’ “When Trinidad High School students come and help at Fisher’s Peak Elementary, they stop in and talk to me because I taught them. I feel very proud of making an impact on those students.”
Marquez loves coming to school so much and has been fortunate to not miss many days. She has received several quarterly perfect attendance awards. She also served on the leadership team for the past several years. This year she serves on the Leader in Me bullying prevention committee.