Influencer of the Week: Judith Guimaraes, Castleview Elementary

The Castleview Elementary kindergarten teacher's colleagues recognize Guimaraes for her leadership and dedication to students.

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  • | 9:30 p.m. February 12, 2020
  • Southwest Orange
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Now in her fifth year with Orange County Public Schools, Castleview Elementary kindergarten teacher Judith Guimaraes has been a leader for the Dragons. She works to mentor other teachers, leads book studies with teachers and volunteers her time in the computer lab for students in the morning so they can take AR quizzes on books they have read. 


What do you love most about your school?

What I love most about Castleview Elementary is the amazing sense of community. Our school is Ron Clark inspired, which means we have a “house system” in place. There are four houses, and all students and staff are sorted into these four houses. It is very much like Harry Potter! I think this really helps provide a sense of belonging for students, and the healthy competition is a lot of fun!

What’s your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is being able to make learning exciting for my students. There’s nothing better than having my students engaged and curious to know more about the topics we are covering in class. 

What made you want to take on this job?

Being an educator is very much “in my blood.” Many of my family members are educators, and I am most inspired by my mom and my aunt. They have worked as elementary school teachers for over 20 years. Being the daughter of a teacher means I have been helping set up classrooms and cutting laminated materials since I was an elementary student myself! I think being a teacher is one of the most important careers there are. 

What motivates you and pushes you to do your best?

My students motivate me to work harder on a daily basis and continuously grow as a teacher. Every group of students is different. Something that worked in a previous year may not work during the current school year. It’s so important to be flexible and adaptive. I’m on a continuous hunt for new and interesting activities that will help my students enjoy learning new content.  

What’s the nicest thing a student or faculty member has done for you?

I was blessed to be able to work alongside my aunt for my first four years of teaching. My aunt generously provided me with every resource I could ever need and guided me through my first years as an educator. That is definitely the nicest thing a faculty member has done for me.   

What is the coolest place you have visited and why?

The coolest place I have ever visited is Jericoacoara, Brazil. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The natural beauty is amazing and the small town had so many cool things to experience. 

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

If I could have any superpower, I would want to be able to manipulate time. There are not enough hours in the day!

If you could see any musician, band or artist live, who would it be and why?

I have yet to see Maroon 5 in concert and I’ve been a fan since high school. Their songs are so catchy and I know they put on a great show.