November Teacher of the Issue: Martinez values student perspective, incorporates discussion


Trisha Atluri

Coppell sophomore Ethan Frieder listens to English II Honors teacher Carla Martinez as she discusses Lord of the Flies in her third period class on Oct. 15. Martinez is currently in her 14th year of teaching English.

Trisha Atluri, Staff Writer/Photographer

Coppell High School English II teacher Carla Martinez was selected by The Sidekick staff as November Teacher of the Issue. Martinez has 14 years of teaching experience, 12 of which were spent at Richardson High School before she came to CHS.

Why did you choose to teach English?

One of the reasons why I really wanted to be a teacher is I had a really hard time when I was in high school and my sophomore English teacher was pretty fantastic. I really felt like she was the only adult I had in my life who was there to listen. She had a real impact on me. Besides just talking about English, I just really like the idea of being an adult influence on my students. Also, I chose English because I like how you get to talk about the human experience. I like the discussion aspect of it. Of course I like writing, but I feel like I really get into exploring various perspectives of people and how people tap into the world. It’s really interesting to see how students respond to those perspectives.

How would you describe your teaching style?

I’m kind of a hodge-podge. There are some things I really care about and there are some things I’m more relaxed on. Of course, there’s the curriculum we’re required to do, but then I try to incorporate more perspectives, more ideas, so we can spend time with some of the big questions in life. My hope is I teach my students how to think a little more. 

What do you do outside of school?

I like the little things in life. My children (Elijah, 18, Maya, 13, Liam, 10, Anya, 8, Finn, 7, Nora 4) love to do little art projects, so one of my favorite things to do is to sit down with my children at the table and we’ll pull out markers or watercolors or whatever and we’ll just create. Or maybe we’ll all be outside and just kind of see what’s going on in the garden or look at a little bug that’s running away. As long as I’m appreciating the small things.

What is one lesson you hope your students come out of your class with?

My hope is that they become better listeners, that they realize other people’s perspectives—especially if they don’t agree with them—have value. 

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