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Mrs. De La Rosa's classroom is rooted by teaching with love

Earlier this week, Mrs. Alicia De La Rosa at Masters Elementary got a note from a student.

It said, “To Mrs. De La Rosa,

You are a great teacher. You help me understand that you don’t have to worry about the STAAR test. You are my favorite teacher. The reason is you always find a way to have fun learning. I wish I can stay in third grade but I can’t because I want to go to college. I will always remember you. Thank you for an awesome year. Thank you for everything.”

It’s these letters - small moments that really are big moments, that remind teachers that they are doing great work in life.

“I do it for the kids,” De La Rosa said. “I love seeing them grow from the beginning of the year to now.”

De La Rosa is a third grade teacher at Masters. She is a product of Judson ISD, having attended Crestview Elementary, Kitty Hawk Middle School, and a 2010 graduate of Judson High School.

It was her elementary school teachers that impacted her so much that she wanted to go to school to become an educator.

“My 1st and my 4th grade teachers inspired me to become a teacher,” De La Rosa said. “Ms. Sprouse (4th grade) was just so caring and helped me throughout those years. I wanted to do that for others.”

After graduating from the University of Texas at San Antonio, she did her student teaching at Masters Elementary. She impacted the school so much that it got noticed by her principal, who ensured she had a job after she graduated.

“I think about my first year and say, ‘what happened?’” De La Rosa said. “I’ve always been a go-getter - always wanted to do the best that I can. I would tell myself that - it will come in time. Just calm down. The first year is so overwhelming.”

Luckily, De La Rosa had a great team that guided her.

“I had a bunch of veteran teachers that helped mold me into the teacher that I am today. One of them, that I am still close to on campus, I go to her for everything,” De La Rosa said.

Now that she is a veteran teacher, she has established herself on her campus. Her teaching philosophy is rooted by teaching with love.

“Even if a student had a bad day previously, I greet them at the door as they come in. I want them to know that - whatever is going on at home, today is a new day. We are here - this is our family,” De La Rosa said.

She also enjoys working with students that may be a bit behind that need her the most.

“I’m really good at making sure they make huge progress throughout the year,” De La Rosa said. “I feel like I’ve always been able to really help them, the babies that need it the most.”

Like many teachers recently, she learned so much about flexibility and preservation because of teaching through COVID.

But also, like many teachers in America, they did the best they could do in the situation that was presented to them.

“I don’t know how we did it, but we just did it,” De La Rosa said. “That’s what teachers do.”

With the education industry going through change, she wants to remind new teachers coming in about their impact on their future students, their future classrooms, and their community.

“You make a difference. Whether you think it or not, you make a difference, either educational or emotionally with the student, making those connections, you make a difference to them. They look up to you,” De La Rosa said.

And as we get to the end of the school year, it is the small moments - like the note given to her - that reminded her that she is doing great work in life.

“That note reminded me that - once you build that relationship with them, see, I am doing something,” De La Rosa.

During this Teacher Appreciation Week, it is vital for us to realize the power of educators in our society, in our community, and in our district. And Judson ISD has some of the best teachers anyone can ask for, continuing to invest in our students.

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