Sonya Romero learned early in her career that teaching is about more than just the subject matter — it’s about the students.
“Their needs have be met — whatever they are … socially, emotionally, physically, so that they have the ability to learn, ” says Romero.She teaches kindergarten at Lew Wallace Elementary School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and most of her students live in poverty. Romero works hard to make her kids feel comfortable and safe in the classroom so they can focus on their lessons.
Sonya begins each school day by asking her students a batch of unconventional questions — like whether or not they have eaten, if they need anything special to wear, or if they need to brush their teeth or comb their hair.
Late one night, Sonya was at school when two of her former students were in crisis and needed an emergency placement home.
She did not hesitate to take them home, and she eventually became their foster mom.
When Ellen heard about humanitarian Sonya Romero, she knew she had to bring her to the show. Sonya was in shock when Ellen revealed a special video her school put together for her. But that wasn’t the only surprise.