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The kindergarten class at St. Robert School, San Bruno had their annual pajama drive to benefit children helped by San Mateo County Foster Care Services. Each child brought in a new pair of pajamas that were then boxed up and sent off for children in t

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‘Teaching is profession with many special moments,’ Epiphany teacher says
January 26th, 2016
By Tom Burke

Sharon Rodriguez teaches kindergarten at San Francisco’s School of the Epiphany and has taught at the school for 40 years. She is a graduate of the Excelsior District’s Corpus Christi School and holds a lifetime teaching credential from San Francisco State University. I asked Sharon a few questions about it all via email. Her response in its entirety follows:

I enjoyed playing school growing up, but did not consider teaching as a career until college. I took a class that required volunteer hours, so I went to the School of the Epiphany, and my love of teaching bloomed. I was fortunate to be surrounded by seasoned teachers, who inspired me to be creative and allowed me many hands-on experiences with small groups of children.

Teaching is a profession that has many special moments each day that I am fortunate to witness as a teacher. Hearing children read for the first time, observing students thinking outside the box to answer a difficult question, or seeing children perform an act of kindness to their classmate enlightens me as a teacher. These are just a few of the gifts I receive daily from the children. Also, it’s nice to meet former students and see how excited they are to share kindergarten memories and their accomplishments.

A unique part of teaching at School of the Epiphany for me is teaching former students’ children. It is nice to see that our alumni want the same faith filled education for their children. Also, the relationships that I have built with the families and students over the years hold a special place in my heart.

Over these past 40 years I have seen many changes in teaching. Technology has been one of the biggest changes in education benefitting students and teachers. Also, teachers are able to differentiate their instruction to meet the needs of all children. Special programs in school help all children to become successful.

My 40 years at School of the Epiphany have gone by quickly due in part to the dedicated faculty. The faculty is very supportive and helpful. We care about each other professionally and personally. We are there for each other in good times and sad.

My advice to new teachers is to be understanding and compassionate to your students and parents. Let students and parents see how you care for their children and let them know you believe their children are special. Be a good listener.

When you put a lot of effort into your teaching, your rewards will be plentiful. I’m grateful for my profession it has fulfilled my life.

A CALL TO SERVICE: Archbishop Riordan High School junior Rodney Martinez was one of 25 students appointed to the San Mateo Youth Commission. He serves on the Adolescent Needs Committee and is working with his co-commissioners on a report about the effects of policy on youth in San Mateo County. Rodney, head of Riordan’s Lancer service club and a member of stage crew, attended St. Stephen School and lives with his family in Daly City.

On his experience to date as a Youth Commissioner, Rodney said: “So far, being on the commission has been one of the best experiences.” Rodney and his youth commission colleagues “go to different schools and interview kids on a range of subjects, such as suicide and mental illness. A lot of kids are depressed and a certain percentage leave school because of increased academic pressures. We are still working on the study and gathering data.” Rodney also serves as a liaison to the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Commission that hopes to make improvements for youth in juvenile hall. Rodney’s parents are Samantha and Rodney Martinez.

Email items and electronic pictures – jpegs at no less than 300 dpi to or mail to Street, One Peter Yorke Way, San Francisco 94109. Include a follow-up phone number. Street is toll-free. My phone number is (415) 614-5634.

From January 28, 2016 issue of Catholic San Francisco.


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