The Salina USD 305 Horizon teacher was honored Tuesday evening.
According to the district, now in his second year as a third grade teacher at Schilling Elementary School, Hernan Hernandez’s style includes strong connections to his students, hands-on activities, frequent movement and technology. While his instructional strategies are top-tier, his passion for teaching is evident in everything he does. “He wants to make sure his students get the best he can give,” according to a fellow teacher.
Hernan takes the time to get to know his students’ interests, hobbies and abilities. “Knowing the little things about your students helps you build important, positive relationships,” explained Hernan. Making sure those relationships are meaningful and lasting is important to Hernan. In meeting his students’ families, he is quick to learn parental goals and their preferred communication methods.
Collaboration is important to Hernan. “Students can feel when adults are on the same page,” explained Hernan. “This impacts how their learning environment feels and the amount of learning that is accomplished.” His time spent creating an exemplary learning environment benefits his students as well as his colleagues, with whom he shares generously.
“Hernan does everything in his power to make sure students’ needs are met, going above and beyond to improve his instruction and learning opportunities,” added a fellow teacher. “Hernan works to have the lessons suit his students, differentiating the material to meet their varied learning needs.” Always well prepared, he fluidly adjusts the lessons as needed to ensure concepts are learned.
By helping to begin a student council at Schilling Elementary, a new way for students to develop leadership, belonging and a sense of pride is now possible. “He thinks outside the box and is always finding new and exciting ways for student learning both in his class and throughout the building,” added a colleague.
Every morning, Hernan greets students in the hallway with a smile on his face, setting a positive tone and reinforcing connections. Hernan’s work in creating and supporting a safe and positive learning environment helps to promote student success on a daily basis.