Who is Xiomara?
I am a proud Latina, born and raised in Puerto Rico. I moved to Florida in January 2021 with my husband and our dog. Coming from a big family I have always had a passion for working with kids so when deciding my career path, it was a no-brainer going into the Early Childhood Education field. I have been a teacher for over six years but have worked with children for more than 10 years either as a private tutor or babysitting.
What drew you to MOSH?
Deciding to join MOSH was very easy, I love learning as much as I love teaching; having the opportunity to do both constantly in my work environment was a very exciting opportunity. I have always been fascinated by museums, I like to visit them anytime I travel and I understand how big of an impact they have on learning. MOSH’s tagline, “Curiosity Welcome…”, is a life philosophy that I like to follow.
Describe a day in your role as the early learning coordinator.
As the Early Learning Coordinator, my days are always different from each other which is really exciting. I get to create lesson plans and materials for students that promote meaningful learning experiences with the whole museum as a resource for learning. I have the opportunity to meet new families and build relationships to create a learning community inside MOSH. My days are always a fun adventure.
What is your teaching philosophy/style?
I am a constructivist teacher. I believe that learning experiences should be a collaborative effort where students and educators learn from each other and are active participants in the process of constructing learning. In the words of my favorite philosopher, Jean Piaget: “Children should be able to do their own experimenting and their own research. Teachers, of course, can guide them by providing appropriate materials, but the essential thing is that in order for a child to understand something, he must construct it himself, he must re-invent it.”
For me, there is not one way of learning and to be able to provoke curiosity and growth, an educator must get to know their students. I love play-based learning and I believe that even adults learn better when they are actively engaged in hands-on activities.
What do your students teach you?
Preschoolers ask the deepest questions that always have me doing research. They are also easy to forgive and love in the purest form. They have the greatest sense of humor. I always try to live my days just like my preschoolers; it has made me more compassionate, and it has taught me to enjoy the simplest things in life.
I always make sure that the experiences planned are flexible and can be explored in a variety of ways so that anybody can participate. As a bilingual teacher, I am able to build relationships and offer a safe space to the diverse group of young students that come to MOSH.
How do you engage your students in STEAM learning?
I like to think that every experience can be a STEAM learning moment when you ask the right questions and provide a nudge in that direction. However, I make sure that all my activities are hands-on experiences where children make their own discoveries and we engage in deep discussions of what is happening.
What are you looking forward to in the new Museum?
I am really excited about having new exhibits and spaces that will enhance all our educational programs.
Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?
I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher, but the idea really became a reality during my high school years. I was a part of a very small high school community where teachers did not feel like strangers or far away authority figures. They were available for their students and built strong and everlasting relationships with us. It was this experience that really showed me the importance of teachers and what a difference we can make in a student’s life.
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