Every one of our team members has a story to tell, and each of them brings a unique set of skills and passions to the table that enable us to collectively empower learners in innovative ways. Many of us are former educators, and all of us are dedicated to making positive teaching and learning experiences accessible for all teachers and learners. Behind the Cube allows us to highlight the individual voices of our team members, and dig deeper to discover what makes each of them unique. Today, we’re chatting with a sales rep and former elementary school teacher.
Today’s Highlight: Renata Ruiz, Sales Representative, New Jersey
How did you come to be in your role at McGraw-Hill?
I’m currently a PreK-5 Sales Representative in Northern NJ and have been in this role for 6 years. I first joined McGraw-Hill in 2010 as a regional curriculum specialist straight out of the classroom. I taught 1st, 2nd, and 5th grades in Newark Public Schools and prior to that, I was a program manager for an educational nonprofit. Every job I’ve ever had has had something to do with education!
Can you give us a few concrete examples of how your teaching experience influences your work today?
As a classroom teacher, my principal gave me many opportunities to plan, put together, & present professional development workshops for my colleagues. I spent a lot of time talking to teachers across all grade levels in my building to figure out what they felt they needed the most so that the professional development was meaningful to them. Teachers want to and should be heard. They are on the front line of education so their input is critical. Educators are one of the most collaborative groups of professionals out there. They love to share what’s working, bounce ideas off each other, and try new things. As a curriculum specialist, I wanted the teachers I was training to feel comfortable enough to openly talk about what they felt would be challenging so that I could set them up for success. And now as a sales representative, I spend most of my meetings asking a question and actively listening so that when we eventually discuss solutions, I am setting them up for success.
What do you see as the biggest challenge educators are currently facing?
This is a difficult question to answer! I could be in one district hearing about one challenge and drive two miles away and hear something completely different. Many educators feel weighed down by tasks that take away from their planning and teaching time. They thrive on being in the classroom with their students but are feeling burned out by outside factors.
What do you most hope to achieve at McGraw-Hill?
I think one of the best things about McGraw-Hill is that the company truly values the input and ideas of their employees. We are often invited to join advisory boards, meet with academic design teams, and simply just be opinionated! As a first-generation Latinx woman, I am thrilled to see how much thought and research goes into making sure our resources are culturally inclusive & diverse, especially in our literature. It’s so important for children to see themselves in their books — representation MATTERS. I hope that my colleagues and I continue to have a visible voice at McGraw-Hill.
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