Rosa M. Martinez

At the beginning of every school year, hundreds of children and their families walk through the front doors of our schools with hopes of a bright future ahead of them.

Every child deserves to have a bright future. As educators, we strive to meet the unique needs of all our students. Then students can begin to build the foundation for academic learning at an early age.

There are many elements of a child’s development that contribute to their learning success, and their success rests in the hands of educators as we help and support children to meet their full potential.

For many students, Pre-kindergarten is the first time learning is structured, where students begin to work collaboratively with their peers, and where school families are built.

Research has shown that this is a critical age for children’s cognitive development, thus early childhood education lays the foundation for future academic performance and success.

The school environment is critical. It is where educators foster and nurture a positive educational experience, which will promote each student’s social/emotional, physical and cognitive development.

At first glance, children all look the same; however, each child is a special person with their own unique strengths and talents. Educators must gain insight to the particular differences, unique needs and learning styles that make up the whole child.

Thoughtful consideration of instructional practices must be in place in order to address the developmental stages of children and provide age-appropriate and student-centered instruction.

Furthermore, educators need to understand the physiological and neurological makeup of development and learning to ensure cognitive development (Odem, 2006). They must incorporate high expectations and nurturance to transmit the necessary skills needed by the brain for academic achievement (Neuman, 2014).

Our charge as educators is not an easy one, however, it is one that brings much joy and a sense of accomplishment as we see our students grow, learn and mature heading toward the bright future that lies before them.

Early this school year, I had a conversation with a parent who stated the following, “We will do whatever she needs for her bright future.” Together, as parents, educators and community, we can build a bright future for all our children. They all deserve it!

Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad!

Rosa M. Martinez is the principal at Gibbs Pre-Kindergarten Center in Huntsville. She can be reached by telephone at (936) 293-2837 or by sending a text message to

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