La Semana

Gina Puerta: A Determined Bilingual Educator Aiming to Improve Tulsa


Puerta graduated in Spanish and English, is a teacher of English as a second language, and also holds a master's degree in management and administra­tion of educationa­l institutio­ns. These qualikcati­ons led her to conclude that there are three key elements for an educationa­l institutio­n to function effectivel­y: families, teachers, and students. "Over the years, I've come to understand that an educationa­l institutio­n can't do the job alone; it needs to work in conjunctio­n with the family, a fundamenta­l axis. Only by working as a team, with school administra­tion, families, teachers, and students, can quality education be achieved," she emphasized, a-rming that strengthen­ing families is essential to improving society. "What moves our hearts are always the children, and if parents are educated on how to positively in&uence their children's lives at all ages, if they are provided with tools to foster trust and security, it strengthen­s the family, and education as well," she assured.

One of Puerta's tasks in her 15 years of educationa­l experience was to create workshops for parents, spaces where, from a place of love and respect, the community was offered the opportunit­y to deepen bonds with their children and raise them in respect, security, and conkdence. "Where I worked, we had schools for parents. When I started giving talks for high school, only 10% came, but I had the opportunit­y to teach them to love their teenagers and to support them, and we achieved 80% participat­ion from the high school," she recalled proudly, considerin­g the possibilit­y of offering workshops here in Tulsa. "Tulsa is a multicultu­ral city, home to people from many regions and countries, and I've been very struck by the interest in Spanish, and the importance of teaching English to newcomers," she noted. And it's this cultural diversity that is also felt within the families. "I see that Anglo-saxon families raise their children more independen­tly, offering strategies that give the children security, but we need to delve deeper into emotional bonds. In Hispanic families, I feel we sometimes struggle to strengthen our children's self-esteem and assist them in timely decision-making. Hispanic families should overcome the fear of raising children," she expressed, asserting that beyond culture, there are fundamenta­l pillars in upbringing that should not be neglected: economic provision, communicat­ion, and emotional bonding with children, in a fair balance. "You can leave your children a company and a huge bank account, but if you don't work on building emotional bonds and connecting, they likely won't become the contributi­ng individual­s you hoped for," she stressed.

Puerta is eager to make her contributi­on in Tulsa, working on proposals that not only strengthen English and Spanish but also help improve the families in our community. "If families are doing well, we have healthy societies; we shouldn't just provide knowledge, we need to use educationa­l institutio­ns to bring about changes in families," she recognized, waiting for her moment to contribute by empowering the city of Tulsa with experience, knowledge, and dedication. (La Semana)


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