Teaching our youth how to talk about their emotions without feeling judged is a tough task but one local teacher is using his own life experiences to help students feel comfortable when talking about their emotions.

Alberto Villalobos is a coach at Anthony middle school and he is also the creative mind behind the school’s lunchtime program called “Transformers.”

Every Monday, students are invited to meet in a safe environment and work with other students to build healthier attitudes, behaviors, and relationships. The program encourages students to reflect on their identities and know how to treat others with respect to form positive relationships with other students as well as with their teachers.

“In social media, you see all the negatives and you see a lot of positives as well about how teachers have helped others. I see them, and it inspires me to hopefully make a difference,” Villalobos said.

Courtesy: Anthony ISD
Courtesy: Anthony ISD
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Coach Villalobos’ most recent project with the students was teaching them a skill that may seem simple to some but for others, it can be a challenge.

“When thinking about topics to discuss in Transformers, I remembered that I didn’t learn until college how to tie a tie. I had to learn on YouTube,” Villalobos said.

He took it upon himself to gather ties for the students and teach them the loops and knots that go into professional attire.

Courtesy: Anthony ISD
Courtesy: Anthony ISD
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“It’s very important for the students to learn this right now. I want them to know what to do in a professional setting from knowing how to tie a tie to knowing how to treat others right,” Villalobos said.

“As kids, or even as adults, we tend to hide our emotions. I want the students to feel comfortable showing their emotions. It doesn’t show that you’re weak at any point at all,” Villalobos said.

The pandemic did a number on all of us but in my opinion, our youth AND teachers had to deal with A LOT. Stories like this give me a sense of comfort because it shows that despite the struggles our teachers are dealing with, they still know that our students need them now more than ever and teachers like Mr. Villalobos are showing that our youth is in good hands.

Courtesy: Anthony ISD
Courtesy: Anthony ISD
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