SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.-- --
Oct. 5 will mark the 70th anniversary of World Teacher’s Day, a day designated by the United Nations to recognize education is a key fundamental right and entitlement for all children.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights established the day in 1948, and this year’s theme is “The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher.”
“The task of a modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts,” said C.S. Lewis, author.
Schriever’s own teachers, specially trained and qualified, shared their perspective on what it means to teach.
“When I became a mom, I discovered I loved working with children,” said Madeline Martinez, program lead at the Child Development Center. “It’s great to be a role model for the children, and it’s very rewarding.”
Martinez said her passion for teaching others began when she was a child, roleplaying as a teacher with her friends. Her love for teaching was further cemented by a supportive teacher she had growing up.
“I had a fourth grade teacher who was a great mentor for me,” she said. “We’re still friends on social media. She would go out of her way to give me extra support, which made a huge impact.”
With her own kids raised in a military family, Martinez said she understands the unique situation children are in when their parents are in the military.
“Military children go through a lot, moving from place to place and having to make new friends,” she said. “It’s good to support them when they are away from their parents and provide consistency.”
Delmar Pascua, program technician with the CDC, said although she works with younger infants and toddlers, she witnesses the same growth and rewards making an impact on their lives.
“Seeing the children learn makes me happy,” Pascua said. “Like showing them how to use the spoon and seeing them learn how to do it and use it later on, it’s special to me.”
She said she enjoys working on base, making a positive impact for the children, parents and the Air Force as a whole.
“There’s a lot of structure, and you meet people from all over the world,” Pascua said.
Clarissa Comp, program technician with the CDC, said growing up as the oldest child in a close-knit Hispanic family gave her a better understanding on how to work with children.
“I was always the oldest, we used to have cousins and other relatives come over all the time,” Comp said. “So I was like a teacher already, but that’s where I found my passion.”
She shared her favorite part of the job.
“A big highlight for me is seeing the parent’s faces when they come after work, take off their hats and get on the floor to greet their kids,” Comp said. “Just seeing that excitement when the kids show what they learned, it’s exciting for me as well.”
Martinez, Pascua and Comp agree their roles molding the minds of younger generations is essential to strengthening tomorrow’s Air Force and fulfilling the 50th Space Wing priority of taking care of Airmen and their families always.
Despite World Teacher’s Day being a day in tribute to their roles, they said it is the fruits of their labor they appreciate most.
“When I’m around children I feel like a child myself,” Martinez said. “It’s always great when you come into the classroom and they are happy to see you. When I hear the children go home and tell their parents what they learned or how they want to be a teacher when they grow up, it’s a good feeling.”
“Each child’s accomplishment is a milestone for me,” Comp added. “Teachers help children find themselves, put them on the right path. For me, that’s the greatest impact we make.”