Teacher of the Week: Matos makes transition into opportunity to help Harlingen students


At the start of each school year, Mariely Matos usually has an idea of what to expect in her classroom, but this year has marked a big transition for her as she is not only at a new campus but a new city all together.

“It’s a huge transition, but its one with a lot of opportunity,” said Mato. “It’s the perfect place to grow as an educator.”

Recently moving from Houston, Mato, a seventh grade ELA teacher at Coakley Middle School, has wasted no time in taking every opportunity she can to learn something new about her campus and work with her fellow teachers to provide her students with the tools for excellence, she said. Adding to her transition was the move to teaching seventh grade on a middle school campus. Although new, she already feels right at home as a Cougar.

“ I feel blessed to have been able to embark on this new adventure,” said Mato. “The team here has been so supportive, and it’s been wonderful to see how a middle school works. There is something new I learn each day, and what I learn I hope to share with my students as we continue through this year.”

Bringing her classroom mentality of learning is a consequence of reading and writing; she pushes them to take ownership of their thinking, she said. The goal with her approach is to create independent thinkers with the ability to problem solve. Both of those attributes she believes are important to developing the tools necessary to be successful in our society while serving the community they life in.

“There is a lot of choice and technology incorporated into our daily lessons,” said Mato. “I want students to feel like they have a voice and can verbalize their thinking.”

Her road to teaching was a natural one. As a student, her playground was the inside of the classroom. She loved everything related to school, and with her teachers showing her compassion and the love of helping others; it was from then on she knew that education was for her, she said.

“I feel like it was something I was born with,” she said. “When I was ready to go to college, my parents wanted me to go into the technology field and I went to study computer engineering for a bit. It wasn’t for me. I realized I had to go with my heart.

Teaching for her ninth year, Mato has never looked back on her choice to help students. Outside of her classroom she remains focused on her family, faith and anything else she can do to help her students succeed.


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