Loida has read at Nuestra Palabra, Latinos Having Their Say, a local literary group, several times and has published two short stories on The Houston Institute for Culture website. She is currently working on a novel about three cousins and their mothers.
Loida has also become a Blogger. She’s blogging “Shoegirl Corner” in the magazine, Skirt! It’s a national magazine that publishes in 18 different cities. The Houston Chronicle publishes a Houston edition. Here’s a link to the site and to her blog.
Here’s Loida Casares Ruiz with her essay for Houston Public Radio’s This I Believe.
“I believe it is our responsibility as parents to educate our children. I believe that more than ever now that I’m a parent myself, but it’s a belief that I formed long before I had children, while I was a substitute teacher in the Houston Independent School District.
Two years into a job in corporate America, I quit and went to work as a substitute teacher because I thought I wanted to go into teaching profession. What I found was disappointing.
I couldn’t believe that the most important job in the world, the people who first help shape our future leaders, is one of the most underpaid professions. I never knew that teachers had to spend their own money in teacher supply stores to supplement what they do in the classroom.
I also learned how hard it can be to teach children. I was hired as a long-term substitute teaching Pre-K and the children were a handful. They were all my sole responsibility and I had to make sure they all received my attention. I lasted one and a half years.
Soon after, a woman I knew was complaining about how badly her child was doing in school and she was blaming the teacher. I asked her if she spent any extra teaching time with him at home. She told me quite sharply that it was not her responsibility to teach her child. She said that that was the job of the teacher.
I was shocked by this woman’s attitude. Having been a teacher, I know how difficult it can be to give each child individual attention and how important it is for parents to remain involved.
I knew then and there that when I had children of my own I would not leave their education completely to someone else. When I sent my daughter to school for the first time last year, I expected for her teacher to teach her the fundamentals, but I believe that it is our job as parents to follow the teacher’s outline and then to build on that base. It’s our job as parent to teach our children more things about life that they won’t learn in a classroom. It’s our job to turn off the TV when we don’t want for them to watch something we find inappropriate.
It is not ultimately a teacher’s or anyone else’s job to decide what our children learn and are exposed to. It is our job as parents. This I firmly believe.”