When Norann Cantu sees her students at the beginning of each day; she only has one goal in mind. That goal is help them create their legacy at not only Sam Houston Elementary but also wherever they go.
To help create that legacy, Cantu, a fourth grade bilingual teacher at Houston, emphasizes cultivating lifelong skills through real life situations.
“Learning is a lifelong skill,” said Cantu. “What I try to do in the classroom is engage them in everything, relate our lessons to real life situations and make them fun.”
Through her lessons, she hopes that they will continue to learn, and receive enjoyment out of understanding new things, she says. As long as they possess that desire, they will have the capabilities of overcoming any obstacle they encounter.
Keeping her lessons fresh takes many hours outside of the classroom, but its something she enjoys as she frequently works with other teachers to implement new strategies in their classroom, she said To her, change in the classroom is important as technology and the world continue to evolve. Her philosophy is further emphasized as she began her first year as a Digital Classroom teacher in August
“This generation is accustomed to knowledge on demand and it’s awesome,” said Cantu. “What we aim to do in our digital classrooms is create a balance and teach how technology can help you learn, how to search for correct information and be an instructional tool in reading in math.”
Keeping true to her bilingual classroom, Cantu also helped design the instructional content for the campuses new Dual Language Academy, which allows students to simultaneously learn English and Spanish throughout their daily curriculum. With her son now enrolled in the Academy, she has seen first had the benefits it can bring.
“I’m amazed with how much he has learned in these few months,” said Cantu. “The connection he is making is astounding.”
With her mother a former educator, it’s no wonder that Cantu ended up in the classroom focused on her students, but it isn’t where she started. Prior to starting as a teacher, she worked as a law enforcement director for the Brownsville school district. Now as an educator, she can’t imagine doing anything else, but help her students know that all options are possible.
She is currently in her second year teaching at the campus.