Honoring Deisy Leija


Deisy Leija

Elementary Bilingual Teacher

Baytown, Texas

Deisy Leija, a native of San Antonio, Texas, is a first-generation graduate. Both of her parents are immigrants from Monterrey, Mexico. Growing up, her parents always instilled in her the importance of getting an education and as the oldest of five siblings, she believed it was her responsibility to set a good example.

Growing up, her family lived in the small town of Valparaiso, Florida. It was difficult going to school for her because she was limited in her English language and the community where she lived, did not understand Spanish. It was a challenge for her on a daily basis – not knowing what was going on or what was being taught in the classroom. She had to rely on a Spanish/English dictionary in order to partially understand. This experience inspired her to pursue her career in bilingual education.

Mrs. Leija achieved her dream of becoming a teacher after she graduated from Texas State University with a Bilingual Education Degree. This will be her third year of teaching 5th Grade Reading/Language Arts and Social Studies at Crockett Elementary in Baytown, Texas. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Counseling at Lamar University and hopes to continue making a positive impact on children’s lives as a school counselor.

Why do you teach?

Having to learn the English language was a struggle for me and living in a community that did not know Spanish, made it very difficult to learn the new language. I teach because I want to be the teacher that facilitates learning for my students – especially for my English Language Learners. I find teaching to be very rewarding when I see kids progressing academically. I teach to inspire, encourage and motivate my students so that they too can be successful in their future endeavors.

What do you love about teaching?

The thing I love the most about teaching is seeing my students grow academically. I love seeing how excited they get when we are learning about a topic that interests them. Teaching is something I look forward to on a daily basis and it makes me happy knowing that I am making a difference.

When you were a student, was there a great teacher who inspired you?

Mrs. Garza is the most influential teacher in my life. Mrs. Garza was my fifth grade teacher and she always went above and beyond to help me when I was struggling. She would stay after school with me just to help me with my reading. She never gave up on me and I didn’t give up on myself because of how much she believed in me.