ELEMENTARY TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Ghida Hijazi

Ghida Hijazi considers herself blessed to be a third-grade reading teacher at Cornelius Elementary School in Houston ISD. Her former professor, Dr. Kim Pinkerton, wrote that Ghida is “dedicated to the interconnectedness of reading and writing instruction,” and Ghida says she can’t see herself teaching any other way!

As an immigrant student, Ghida always struggled in reading. She despised reading immensely and read only when required to, which is why she became a reading teacher. Her favorite books to share with her students are culturally diverse ones. She wants to build a love of reading in her students—one that they didn’t even realize they had. “As a first-year teacher, Ghida deftly set aside programs and manuals provided to her by her district in favor of a reading workshop approach that offers students authentic experiences with children’s literature,” said Dr. Pinkerton. Every first day of school, Ghida makes a promise to her students that she will read to them every single day no matter what. She truly embodies the core values of TCTELA.