Second-year teacher encourages prospective educators to come to HISD

Last year on the final day of school in Maria Reveles-Gonzalez’s third-grade class at Pilgrim Academy, she posted a sign that read “last day of school.” Students wrote on it what they learned that year, as well as their favorite subject. While most wrote that they enjoyed learning multiplication, one student answered, “to be confident in who she was.” That moment helped the then-first-year teacher confirm that this was where she wanted to be—at HISD.

“It was so beautiful to see that is what she took away from being in my class for one year,” Reveles-Gonzalez said.

Reveles-Gonzalez is one of many newer hires to HISD, as Talent Acquisition continues to work to bring quality educators to the district. Facing a nationwide teacher shortage, HISD has been working daily on filling those pivotal positions in the classroom, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Nov. 13, there will be a Fall Graduate Hiring event at Lamar High School. Register here. More job fairs will be coming soon.

According to Dr. Alejandro Gonzalez, senior manager of teacher recruitment and associate teachers, educators are looking for a district where they can grow, and HISD provides the opportunity to become campus leaders. HISD also provides mentorship programs, curriculum support in content areas for new teachers, and the opportunity to earn additional income through stipends.

“HISD offers world-class, high-quality training to its teachers, so they can become the best in their classroom,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve heard from teachers who have left the district and want to come back that it was just not the same after they leave.”

Reveles-Gonzalez was born in Mexico City and moved to the U.S. with her family when she was 7 years old. She attended HISD schools like Briargrove Elementary and saw at a young age the impact teachers were making on the lives of their students. She had wanted to be a teacher ever since she was a child, and her teachers helped her grow. For her, education was an easy choice. Now, as a teacher, she has that connection with her own students.

“I think what I enjoy most about teaching is building those connections with the students and getting to see how, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, you are helping a child grow, not just academically but in their life,” Reveles-Gonzalez said. “[It is] A job that really fills my heart.”

In 2020, she graduated from the University of Houston and is now sponsored by HISD on a work visa as a bilingual teacher at Pilgrim Academy. Reveles-Gonzalez remains grateful for the opportunity the district has provided, especially at a time when it isn’t easy to be a teacher.

“I would convince them [other teachers] to come to HISD, because it is a district that really serves the city,” Reveles-Gonzalez said. “It provides so many opportunities to grow as a person and as a teacher. I’ve received so much support from my campus administration. It’s a challenging time, and there is a lot going on in the world, but just being at HISD and my campus, I’ve been able to navigate all the changes with their support and guidance. I feel at home.”