With her mother teaching for over 30 years, growing up in the classroom is a phrase that Linda Salinas knows well. It’s a large reason that she is now helping students inside her classroom each and every day.
“I take it back to my mom,” said Salinas. “She had a passion for what she did and was the first to get to her classroom and the last to leave. I grew up in the classroom, and she, along with a lot of the teachers I had growing up, gave me a love of teaching.”
Salinas, a world geography teacher at the Dr. Abraham P. Cano Freshman Academy, has been teaching students at the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District for five years. With the inspiration she has taken from her family and former teachers, she strives to create engaging classroom materials that students can relate to.
“I try to find the stuff they like and use it to help them understand our lessons,” said Salinas. “We use Instagram in our classroom so it’s teaching them something unfamiliar in a familiar medium.”
Along with her unique approach to creating lessons, she also gets some assist from technology in her classroom. She is a first year Digital Classroom teacher, which allows her to incorporate digital devices into the learning that takes place. Although a big helper, she doesn’t allow the technology to overshadow the teaching that takes place, she said. She instead utilizes it to help students develop the research skills they will need in higher education and beyond.
“They have the sources to conduct proper research,” said Salinas. “They are learning how to become independent thinkers.”
The independent learning is emphasized at her campus, which opening this year. The school focuses on teachers being facilitators rather than lecturers. It’s an approach that she’s seen blossom during the school’s first year.
“The focus is on the learning,” said Salinas. “I’m not up there lecturing the kids. They are put in charge of their learning, and I’m there to help them along the way. You see them take on that responsibility and really set up to the plate.”
When not helping mold the future trailblazers of tomorrow, she spends her free time assisting her fellow teachers as a department chair and taking care of her four children.