Palm Springs North Elementary names Tiffany Gomez top teacher

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 0 Comments

Palm Springs North Elementary names Tiffany Gomez top teacher

After earning her Master’s Degree in reading education from Nova Southeastern University, Tiffany Gomez never thought she’d be teaching her worst subject in school: Math.

“I didn’t like math but because of it, I can relate to my students and understand their struggles,” she said. “Through reading and writing, you can express your feelings but math is concrete, you may not get it now but you will later.” Making the transition from teaching reading and English to math and science has earned Gomez Palm Springs North Elementary’s Teacher of the Year for 2017-2018. 

Her fourth-grade students were elated although they didn’t know about the honor until two weeks after she was named the school’s top teacher. 

“I didn’t tell my students because I don’t like to gloat,” she said. “They found out weeks later when the saw my name on the marquee. They said ‘Hey, why didn’t you say anything?’ But they were excited for me.” 

Gomez, 35, was honored after her colleagues recognized her for her hard work in the classroom. 

“I am so honored,” she said. “I felt it was so nice what my colleagues did for me.” 

Gomez, who earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and ESOL from Florida International University, has been teaching at Palm Springs North Elementary for 12 years. The Broward County resident taught reading for four years and made the switch at the bequest of the school’s principal who was seeking strong leadership for struggling classes. 

“They do really well, they are very motivated to learn,” said Gomez, who also teaches ESOL and classes that focus on gifted students. “The clincher is helping the students learn, helping them through the trenches, and when that light bulb goes off that they finally got it really motivates me. I love to see that gleam in their in the eyes.” 

Teaching math and science was the defining moment of her teacher career and she never looked back at reading and English. 

“I went through so many different changes, taught so many grades and subjects for reading education and now I’m teaching math and science,” she said. “I don’t want to go back to teaching English and reading because I love teaching math and science.”Gomez added: “It’s funny with the old cliche that teachers with a Master’s degree in reading can’t teach math but I accomplished that task. It has been a blessing in disguise.” 

Gomez said she knew teaching was in her blood when she was a teenager. She said her American High School honors teacher, Mrs. Simpson, was venerated as an educator and trailblazer and Gomez wanted to follow in her footsteps. 

“I wanted to be an English teacher and write books, but I had such a great teacher that I just wanted to have the same impact on my students,” she said. 

When Gomez was a little girl, she wanted to become a nun but she changed her mind when teaching piqued her interest. 

“As I got older, I decided not to be a nun,” she quipped. “Teaching got the best of me.” Had she chose a different career path, Gomez said she would be either a nurse or lawyer. “Those two were in my interests,” she said. “But I’m glad I chose teaching.”

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