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There's no doubt about how this teacher feels about her students

Lisa Garcia in her classroom


For the past 18 years, Lisa M. Andrews-Garcia has re-created a lesson she learned as a beginning educator from the Teacher Support Unit at L.A. Unified. Durng that lesson, retired teachers spoke about the importance of showing the students how much they care about their education.

I firmly believe in the message to my students that I have posted in my classroom: I care about you. I respect you. I believe in you.

I have been doing that since I started teaching in 2000. I was fresh out of college, and we were sent to training for new teachers. It was taught by two retired teachers who told us to make one of these posters for our rooms. They said, 'Children are very smart. If you don’t care about them, if you don’t believe in them, they can feel that. You are not going to be productive, you will not be effective. You genuinely have to care.'

I listened to that and I’ve always made the poster. I always go over that at the beginning of the school year and you can see it in their faces – Who is this lady saying that she cares about us? I emphasize to them that the minute they are on my roster, I care about them. I tell them, 'Before I even saw your face, I cared about you, I respect you, and I believe in you, just by looking at your names. I care about your future and your education.'

And when they tell me it’s too hard or its frustrating, I remind them that I am here for them and it’s my job to make sure they learn. I will stick by them to support them because I care.


Lisa M. Andrews-Garcia
Fifth-grade teacher
Van Deene Avenue Elementary School