Speaking to a room of hopeful teachers, Nancy Vera made one thing very clear: “Have a heart and make sure you want to help others. Education is the key to a quality life.”
This mantra was well stressed throughout the hour-long speech Feb. 13, which was part of the Career Development Speaker Series to help Del Mar students plan for their future careers. To focus on teaching, the event brought Vera, president of the Corpus Christi American Federation of Teachers, the union that represents teachers in CCISD and the surrounding areas.
This is one of the many events that the career development department will be hosting coordinated by Fernando Garza and Vanessa Adkins.
Vera, a Del Mar graduate who has taught at various CCISD schools in her career, told the room about the various challenges she’s faced in the classroom and what she’s learned from them.
“Some kids wore the same clothes every day, because they couldn’t afford any more. The same clothes were often unwashed because they wouldn’t always have running water,” she said.
The anecdotes of adversity and challenges that Vera told from her career made many in the room cry, but she said students like that and others who faced severe problems inspired Vera to become an advocate for teachers.
“Teachers help save lives. Teachers need to have heart, spirit and perseverance and need to be able to fight for human rights and fight the adversity they will face,” Vera said.
Perla Barrón, a bilingual education major, said Vera’s speech was eye-opening and she took away that “you have to be willing and able to help others and being a teacher you have to want to as well.”
Ending the speech Vera suggested that everyone should “get their basics done at Del Mar,” which lightened the mood of the sniffling audience. She also said they didn’t need to have Ph.D.’s or doctorates to be a good teacher.
“You need perseverance and the desire to help others,” she said.