Calmness helping teacher navigate first year
You couldn’t tell that Audrianna Montalvo is a rookie to the teaching profession by watching her work in her fourth grade classroom at Rose Garden Elementary School. Perhaps it’s the calmness she exudes in a room full of chatty, excitable students. Or the endless patience she exhibits when the student energy teeters on the brink of spontaneous combustion. Or in the end, maybe Montalvo was born to teach.
“My brother, sister, sister-in-law, grandma, grandpa and mom are all educators,” Montalvo said. “My mom is the one who played a big role in me wanting to become a teacher. She is someone I looked up to as a teacher.”
Montalvo grew up at SCUC, attending Watts Elementary, Jordan Intermediate, Dobie Junior High before graduating from Samuel Clemens High School. One bachelor’s degree in education from Texas State later, she returned home to learn from fellow teachers, including her mentor, Chelsea Belcher, also a fourth grade teacher at Rose Garden.
“I do feel like I belong here,” Montalvo said, adding, “The staff have all been super welcoming and helpful, which has been a huge encouragement.”
Juggling classroom instruction time with students and taking time to provide individual
attention for a student who needs it seems like a daunting task, until it all comes together for one and all. “I think the most fun has been just seeing the kids when they accomplish something or they understand something,” Montalvo said. “Seeing when they get it, they get so excited and say, ‘Yes, I understand it or they’re like I love math!’”
Montalvo admits the COVID pandemic not only resulted in learning loss, but affected student behavior, with some students still adjusting to a classroom environment and higher expectations. She credits her faith for helping provide a calmness many students still need.
“It’s my foundation,” she said. “I want to show them that I have a positive attitude. I want to show them that I want to be here and am happy to be here. That way they can see, ‘If she wants to be here, I want to be here too.’”