EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Ramon Benavides is a science teacher at Del Valle High School, chosen as te finalist for State’s Secondary Teacher of the Year.
Benavides’ teaching story starts with his parents who were immigrant farm workers. After some time, he said, they decided to go back to school and became educators themselves, which is what inspired him to pursue the same career.
“I knew I didn’t want to be anywhere else and I still don’t want to be anywhere else in the world, I just want to stay in my classroom. It’s where I want to be, I love what I do, I love the kids,” Benavides said.
His students say his classes are always fun and interactive, but what they appreciate the most is the encouragement and his “open door” policy.
One of his students, a junior at Del Valle High School, Lirio Hinostroza said, “I just want the class to last longer, sometimes.”
Another student Aidan De La Rosa said that “a lot of teachers have the energy he does. And it’s just really easy to learn. When he’s so enthusiastic about teaching us stuff.”
Benavides explained he wants to keep his students engaged and interested by providing a positive environment.
“We’re all here because we made a mistake and we’ve learned from it or we’re all here because of the second chances. And that’s important to me. So when a kid feels that they’ve made a mistake. I let them grow from it,” he said.
One of his recent projects with his students was forming a medical club in Del Valle.
He said a few students reached out to him while they were still learning remotely, expressing their wish of forming a medical club that will benefit the students interested in this career field.
“Open door, open heart, that’s kind of what my motto is also. And it’s all about the kids and the kids are going to come up and want to do something good. And I’ll say let’s go ahead and do this,” he explained.
His students said they weren’t surprised he was nominated for such a title, and his coworkers and superiors agree.
Del Valle High School principal Antonio Acuna said that “he goes beyond the call of duty, and it shows with the students, because whenever we announced he was a finalist, people kind of like knew.”
Besides being a good teacher, his students say he is also an inspiration for them.
“This is like a second home to us. This is a very comfortable place where he is providing that space. He shows what I would like to be like as a teacher and what I’d like to be like as a person,” said another one of Benavidas’ students, Dalila Sarinana who also want to teach.
Benavidas said he was honored to receive such a recognition and hopes to win Teacher of the Year.