She said, “It’s a family – we help each other no matter what the position. All of our teachers step up. It unifies us more.”
Mrs. Munoz started out as a paraprofessional after receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and minor in International Business from Stephen F. Austin State University.
She said, “I wasn’t looking for a teaching opportunity. I was looking for a business job but fell in love with schools. I love teaching the younger children. They blossom by the end of the year.”
She began her teaching career at Hackney Primary then worked at Garrett Primary and now Burley Primary. After receiving her Masters in Educational Leadership, she became an Instructional Coach, which can be a very challenging job.
“My busiest time is at the beginning of the year for the first 10 weeks and then the last 9 weeks, but this year has been busy all of the time,” she said.
An Instructional Coach is responsible for working with teachers to ensure the best possible education for each child. Mrs. Munoz spends her time observing students and recommending interventions. She works with the interventionists and helps work out a plan with each teacher. She models instruction in the classroom.
She said, “I help provide feedback to the teachers. I meet with the teachers and look at screeners. I keep records and test on comprehension. We have ELL students, I want to know if it’s a language issue or not grasping the issue. I use my classroom experience and just knowing the kids.”
Her family is very tight-knit. Her parents were originally from Mexico and have worked for Pilgrim’s Pride for many years to ensure that their daughters received a good education.
“My parents would say ‘your inheritance isn’t monetary, we left you an education’. They worked to pay for our college so that we would be debt-free when we finished college. That is our inheritance. They pushed education. It started from home,” she said.
Mrs. Munoz graduated from Lufkin High School in 2000 and was an Honor Society student. During high school, she held a job at Cici’s Pizza. Her husband is also a graduate of Lufkin High School and has family in Lufkin. The couple was married four years ago after being introduced by her husband’s sister. They have two boys, and Mrs. Munoz said that her first child, Victor, is a miracle baby.
She said, “Victor was born at 27 weeks. At 19 weeks, I began leaking amniotic fluid and had to go on bed rest. We spent three months at Texas Women’s, and he was born in August. He weighed 2 pounds and 1 ounce. The experience was traumatic. My whole work team was like family. They went through it with me. I also had great family support. Twelve months later we had another boy and everything went fine.”
Mrs. Munoz’s mother-in-law keeps the two boys, and speaks to the children in Spanish. Mrs. Munoz hopes that the boys will be in the Dual Language program at Burley one day so they will become bilingual and biliterate.
She said, “I love it! Kids blossom in that program. It’s amazing to see the English speakers and how they like to practice.”
Mrs. Munoz wakes at 5:15 a.m. and gets ready. She arrives on campus at 7:20 a.m. and checks in with the front office. She has meetings, trainings and currently is working on grade level meetings. She then heads to the classroom to monitor and model instruction and intervention.
She said, “I tell the teachers ‘I’m not here to judge. I’m here to train’. I let them know it’s not an ‘I got you’. I help with the needs in the classroom.”
She said sometimes the teacher can be nervous to have someone watching their teaching but then they relax and know she’s there to help. She said a lot of times she may not even have any suggestions but comes through to let the teacher know that what they’re doing is working. She said her favorite part of the job is being with the students and having a voice for the teachers.
Mrs. Munoz said when she’s not at the office, she loves to spend time with her boys, ages one and two.
She said, “They love to be outside. Right now, they’re obsessed with the movie Coco.”
When it comes to family whether at work or home, Mrs. Munoz is dedicated and supportive. She said her sister works in the district in Speech Therapy and that she talks on the phone every morning with her mom and sister.
We are blessed to have you, Mrs. Munoz, as part of our family and thank you for the job you do in the classroom to support our teachers and ensure success for our Burley Primary students. You are amazing!