Team & Family: How Dalia Mendoza Went from IDEA Sibling to IDEA Founding Teacher

It is not uncommon for siblings to want what the other one has—whether it be a toy, a game, or a snack. But for Dalia Mendoza, she didn’t want her younger brother’s belongings, instead she wanted to have an opportunity to be a part of IDEA Public Schools like he did. The issue? She graduated from high school years ago and was almost done with her bachelor’s degree. So, she found a solution that paired her love of IDEA with her passion for helping others. 

Upon graduation from the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), Dalia was recently hired as an IDEA Founding Teacher Fellow for the IDEA Greater Houston Area alongside her husband, who is also an fellow. As a part of her training, she will serve as a 2nd grade math co-teacher for IDEA Montopolis Academy during the 2019-20 school year. 

Read more about Dalia and her highly anticipated career at IDEA Public Schools.

What interested you in applying to IDEA? 

My younger brother, Derek, attended IDEA College Preparatory Mission from sixth grade until he graduated last year. I was able to see firsthand the positive effects IDEA had, not just within himself but within our family. He was always doing his homework and made time for supplemental readings. IDEA’s rigorous curriculum helped him develop into a thriving college student. And to this day, he keeps in touch with former IDEA teachers, his principal and support staff. The close relationship my brother has with the educators and leaders is what makes IDEA the ideal place to work. I applied because of the person my brother has become because of IDEA.

Why did you want to work in education? 

I took a substituting course after I graduated college as a way to obtain another certificate for my resume. During that time, I had to do a few observation hours and it worked out that I went to two different classrooms, a 6th grade Math and 6th grade English Language Arts Reading (ELA-R) course. The math class was the first period of the day and the teacher was so great at keeping the students’ attention so early in the morning, the students were so engaged and happy to be there. The second class I attended was a block period for reading. The students were not engaged at all. The class was the complete opposite from the first observation. It was the genuine interaction the math teacher had with her students and the lack of intention the reading teacher had with hers, that made me want to pursue teaching. I wanted to be the strong, genuine, teacher every student deserves. 

What do you enjoy most about working for IDEA? 

My experience with IDEA has been completely positive! Since I’ve started, the recruiters, principals, other Fellows and staff have been so involved and quick to help. I love that IDEA’s culture encourages teamwork and the leaders and recruiters find ways for the Fellows to build relationships with each other and with the school leaders. The communication between everyone has been amazing and very much appreciated. What I have enjoyed most is how dedicated everyone is at IDEA, not just the teachers and principals but everyone in all departments.  

What do you want to accomplish during the 2019-20 school year? 

I will be a co-teacher as part of my training in order to become a lead teacher in fall 2020. I am also working towards being a grade leader. I want to be the best I can be for my students and foster a positive, trusting environment for them. 

Dalia is proof that a sibling rivalry isn’t always a bad thing! Sometimes it can lead to a blossoming career and a world of opportunity! 

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