Teacher of the Week: Guevara sets high expectations, strives for engagement in classroom


In Joanne Guevara’s classroom, collaboration is key. From math to science, she tries to emphasize the importance of working together to achieve success.

Guevara is a fifth grade teacher at Lee Means Elementary, and each day strives to create lessons that engage her students and promote working together.

“Two heads are better than one, and four heads are better than two,” said Guevara. “ The goal is to teach them how to process information and share ideas. When they share, they hear ideas they may not have thought of before and expand their concepts of how to accomplish a lesson. They learn to work together.”

Helping students is something Guevara always saw herself doing. From a young age, she has always put her foot forward to help those in need, especially children. It’s a strength that she followed throughout her studies as she pursued a career in education by majoring in Education in college.

Originally from Minnesota, she made her way to the Rio Grande Valley after being offered a job to follow her dream and teach. It’s a move that she’s never looked back on as she has since spent 26 years educating the students of the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District and the RGV.

Although the years have gone by quickly, the biggest difference she has seen in her classroom is the expectations the students are presented with, she said. She sees their environment changing and tasks evolving, and with those changes, her expectations for her students grow as each day passes.

“I have high expectations for my students,” said Guevara. “I want them to be engaged and working hard every day.”

Changing her classroom further is the digital classroom component that was added this year. She may be just getting accustomed to the idea of incorporating technology in any way she can. Her students are already pros when it comes to using the devices for lessons, she said

When not finding ways to help her students succeed, she spends her time with her family and volunteers at her church and with the Boy Scouts of America.

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