Hello everybody!!

My name is Eva M. Dopico. I have been involved in the education field for 20 years. In Barcelona, Spain, my home town, I worked as a computer teacher at different adult schools. I came to California in 2001 and began working at several different schools in the Davis area as a computer instructor and a teacher's aid. I have a B.A. in Pedagogy with emphasis in Educational Technology from the University of Barcelona and a BCLAD teaching credential from UCDavis. I love teaching and I love my students. Teaching is a very demanding profession that requires a lot of hard work, enthusiasm and creativity. I enjoy my work very much. Other things that I like to do are swimming, dancing and travelling. I have been in many countries for studies or vacation including Finland, The Philippines, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Guatemala, El Salvador, Cuba, Turkey, Tunisia, France, Sweden, Austria, Czech Republic, Portugal, Brazil, Italy, Canada, Greece, Italy, Costa Rica and Fiji. I love to live in Davis and I am glad that Davis is the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame!

Philosophy Statement

The Role of Education

I believe the purpose of education is to provide students with knowledge, skills and social values to help them develop their potential to achieve fulfilling lives as individuals and as positive members of society. Everyone knows the sayings “children are our future” or that children are “our most precious resource”. This means that the important role of education is not just about learning, but it is also about creating a better society.

The best society is one where all children have access to a quality education and equal opportunities to develop all their potential skills. Education is not just a luxury; it is a basic human right. It makes me very sad that many people in the world do not have access to education. Even in rich countries like the United States there are many differences between educated and uneducated people. People that have had access to a quality education have more options in their lives and can enjoy life in different ways. For example, I believe that all children have hidden talents and that they should have the opportunity to develop their potential. Children who never learn to write may never know that there is a poet inside of them.

A quality education typically means improving knowledge and developing basic cognitive skills. Knowledge in subjects such as history, literature or science goes hand in hand with skills such as reading, writing, art, math and basic reasoning. Helping students achieve proficiency in these basic areas should be a primary goal of education. A quality basic education allows children to grow up with the skills and knowledge necessary to make a positive contribution to society.

I believe education should also promote positive social values such as understanding, fairness, equality, courage, altruism, civility, and empathy for others. The best way for education to improve society is for children to understand the importance of helping others and to treat others as they would like to be treated.

Bilingual education is also an important way to teach respect for others and to improve society. Bilingual students and students with special needs have a particularly important role, not only to improve their life chances, but also as valuable contributors to society. Students who overcome obstacles serve as role models and tend to work on issues to eliminate the same barriers they have overcome. Teaching native English speakers a foreign language and culture helps create understanding between cultures. This trains students to value other cultures in addition to training them to be active participants in bilingual communities.

The Role of the Teacher

Teachers have a very important role to play in the lives of children and also in society. Teaching is both a big opportunity and a huge responsibility because teachers can have both a positive and negative impact on children’s lives. Elementary school teachers can affect children to improve not only their life and life possibilities, but to encourage students to be active and productive citizens. Teachers can also miss the opportunity to find and encourage the talents in each student. This has important consequences for both children and society.

I like to teach students that the important thing is not be the best, but yes to try our best and to encourage them to be more cooperative than competitive. They can also learn that everyone has something unique and important to share…we are all the best at something so we should learn to learn from others. One way to do this is to lead by example: learn not by what we say, but by what we do. If the teacher shows interest in learning about the children, their backgrounds and their experiences, then the students will be encouraged to share what they know and understand that all students have something important to share.

I like to be enthusiastic with my teaching. I think good teachers should demonstrate a fascination with the subject matter and a desire to learn themselves and to teach what they have learned to others. It is not what the teacher teaches, but how the teacher conveys the message that is important. I think if a teacher shows an intense interest in the subject matter, so will the children. The world is a fascinating, interesting and cool place. Making lessons “cool” is a big plus for any learning environment.

I think it is very important to teach fundamental human values to help children improve their social skills. Social skills such as understanding other points of view, being empathetic, being respectful, discussing ideas, making reasonable arguments, being compassionate and helpful to others are necessities to live as humans beings.

Another important job of the teacher is to reach out to children with special needs. Many social or emotional problems may hide actual learning abilities. A child who is insecure will not ask questions and will miss the opportunity to learn. Similarly, bilingual education has its own challenges because some students will be more confident in one language or the other. The role of the teacher is to provide special attention to these students. I think I am a good teacher for second language learners because I have experienced their frustrations and limitations on my own. I would like to help them to feel more confident providing them with strategies to overcome their language obstacles.