23-24 School Year Information Learn More

Access for All: Teacher Spotlight with Fatima Montiel

April 18, 2024


For Fatima Montiel, an inclusion specialist (special education) teacher at Bright Star Schools, ensuring every student has the education they deserve is personal. We talked with Ms. Montiel about the transformative power of hope, what it’s like to see a student realize their potential, and why every challenge is an opportunity for growth and transformation.

What inspired you to become a teacher?

As a parent of a child with diverse learning needs, I embarked on a journey filled with challenges and triumphs. Navigating the intricacies of supporting my child sparked within me a profound understanding of the unique strengths required to provide adequate support.

This journey demanded a delicate dance of acknowledging the challenges while instilling confidence and hope. Witnessing firsthand the transformative power of creative approaches to learning, I was inspired to dedicate myself to ensuring every student has access to the education they deserve.

My passion for thinking outside the box and advocating for students' rights fuels my commitment to excellence in teaching.


What do you love most about being a teacher?

What I love most about being a teacher is witnessing the transformative power of hope in my students' lives. Hope, to me, means manifesting what you want out of life and believing in the possibility of a better tomorrow.

It's incredibly rewarding to see my students embrace hope, take deliberate steps towards their goals, and overcome obstacles with courage and determination.

Working closely with small groups allows me to witness firsthand the moment when a student realizes their true potential. I guide them to understand that progress may be incremental, but every small achievement is a step forward.

Despite the discomfort, hope is a reminder that every challenge is an opportunity for growth and transformation. Guiding them to recognize their strengths and using those strengths as springboards to conquer challenges fills me with immense joy and fulfillment.


Are there any special projects or initiatives you've implemented in your classroom?

Yes! One of the initiatives I'm particularly proud of is our “Flex Spotlight." In this project, students identify and celebrate their unique strengths, fostering a positive classroom culture that embraces diversity and individuality.

Additionally, I integrate technology to personalize learning experiences, ensuring every student's needs are met.


What advice would you give to aspiring educators?

To aspiring educators, I would say: Embrace the journey wholeheartedly. Find out what works for you, and then be open to changing it.

Each day brings new challenges and opportunities for growth. Stay committed to understanding the unique needs of every student, and never underestimate the power of empathy and creativity in the classroom.

Your dedication has the potential to shape the future generation in profound ways.

Teach with incredible educators like Fatima! See our open roles here.