A Teacher and a Friend


Photograph by K12 Services

Virginia Plancarte, Journalist

With the overwhelming stress that comes with being in high school, students seek teachers that understand and connect with them beyond the classroom. Ms.Hernandez, the World History and Sociology teacher at Maywood Academy High School, has that bond with many of her students. 

Struck with personality, Ms.Hernandez’s classroom setting allows students to learn about her. Posters of her favorite artist (Beyoncé), student art, and Game of Thrones funko pops, layer her walls and desks. She is an open book, always open to learning about her students and their interests.

Ms.Hernandez stated that she has used her young age as an advantage to bond and connect with her students more, but additionally, it’s her background that allows that bond to grow stronger. Her parents are immigrants from Oaxaca, Mexico and she is a first-generation college graduate, a position that many MAHS students are in. 

Ms.Hernandez entered MAHS three years ago and has developed a friendly network with the first class she had, the 2017-2018 AP World History class. One of her first students, Nancy Espejo, describes Ms.Hernandez to be the ideal teacher for students, seeing her as “something more than a teacher”, she is “an advisor who always welcomes students to their class regardless of anything.”

While most teachers look forward to lunch, a time where they can relax and take a break, Ms.Hernandez opens her classroom to students and is always up to give some advice or have a conversation. 

Mily Iglesias, another former student, states how Ms. Hernandez’s method of prioritizing mental health has allowed her to grow as a student. “When we would have a test or were learning hard material, she would take a few minutes and let us meditate. Also, the week before the AP test, she gave us essential oils and materials to make stress balls. She even gave us snack bags on the day of the actual test.” 

“My biggest goal when it comes to teaching is more of just being like a mentor and helping kids grow up” she said. It is “ to learn how to believe in themselves and how to take care of themselves. I care more about how you are as a person than how you are as a student”.