Who was your favorite teacher growing up? No matter how long it’s been, most people can quickly name their favorite teacher because that person impacted them in a very memorable way. Perhaps your favorite teacher was funny with lots of personality. Maybe your favorite teacher was helpful, understanding or patient. According to a survey conducted by Kids Health, over 10,000 students weighed in on the qualities of their favorite teacher. The highest-ranking quality was that the “teacher explains things well and makes the subject interesting” (Kids Health). As a seasoned educator, I know how difficult and time consuming it is to keep students interested in the subject while meeting required learning standards. I understand how hard it is to combat boredom in today’s classrooms. However, there is hope. Research shows that when students make connections to the real world, their interest in the subject increases. La Borinqueña, a graphic novel series by Edgardo Miranda-Rodriquez, is an excellent resource for teachers to use to help students make connections from the classroom to the community and to the world.
La Borinqueña is an Afro-Puerto Rican superhero named Marisol Rios De La Luz. Marisol is passionate about the sciences and solving environmental issues. A 2018 Gallup analysis revealed that most young adults are concerned about global warming and environmental issues. Therefore, teachers can use Marisol’s character as a vehicle to discuss environmental issues and how students can address them in their school, homes, and community. This awareness will also inspire students to develop trustworthy habits to protect the environment.
Marisol is a college student at Columbia University that lives with her parents in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She decides to study abroad at the University of Puerto Rico and experiences the complications of university budget cuts, faculty shortages and limited resources. Those real-life complications help students understand how complex attending college can be. For students who are already in college, Marisol provides a link between their real-life college experience and the classroom. Furthermore, students will be acquainted with the history of Puerto Rico as well as the current economic conditions which is often overlooked in today’s classrooms.
My favorite teacher was a college professor. She made the course interesting by relating the subject to real life. La Borinqueña is a great resource for teachers because it helps students make connections to their real-life experiences. Using it will combat boredom, disinterest, strengthen the integrity of the classroom, and advance student knowledge of relevant world issues.