Teacher Spotlight

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JoseWe are so excited to recognize Jose Miranda from Miami Dade County Public Schools in this quarter’s Teacher Spotlight. He is a frequent participant at professional development workshops hosted by Miami Dade College Center for Economic Education (MDC CEE) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta – Miami Branch. He enjoys incorporating best practices and new resources for the benefit of his International Relations and Economics students at Westland Hialeah Senior High. Given his prior military service, Jose always arrives early and prepared; best of all, Jose greets you with a warm smile and an eagerness to help wherever he can! Jose was recognized for excellence in economic education at the high school level during the Inaugural Miami Edition of the Regional Economic Educator & Leadership (REEL) Awards hosted by the Florida Council on Economic Education and MDC CEE in May 2019. We appreciate your commitment to service in and outside the classroom. Congratulations, Jose!


SchoolWestland Hialeah Senior High School

School District: Miami-Dade

Subject: International Relations

Grade Level: 11-12

Number of Years Teaching: 24

When did you know you wanted to be a teacher? I knew I wanted to be a teacher in 1995, when I retired from military service, relocated to Miami, and sought for my next career to be shaping the minds of our youth.

If you weren’t teaching what would you do? Because I’ve always loved trains and subways, if I weren’t teaching, I would be working in railroad operations.

What’s your favorite topic to teach? International Relations and Basic Economics/ Financial Literacy

What’s the hardest topic to teach? Advanced Economics

Why do you think Economics and Personal Finance are important to learn? Learning these subjects is important because both are vital to our daily lives and to enabling the fulfillment of most of our short- and long-term goals, yet few of us were explained early in life how to prepare financially for the future and about the options available to save and manage accumulated capital.

How has the FCEE impacted your teaching? The FCEE workshops and publications have provided invaluable information and awareness of best practices that have made my lessons much richer, resulting in higher student achievement.

What’s your favorite FCEE resource or program? Choosing just one is hard. The combination of the Miami-Dade College workshops on economics program, the FCEE Financial Freedom publication, and the Federal Reserve Bank’s workshops and information posters are my favorites.

What advice would you give to a first-year economics or personal finance teacher? Minimize your absences and tardies to school. Maintain an impeccable gradebook. Stick to the fundamentals and make lessons relevant to the students’ daily lives by incorporating real-life economics and personal finance scenarios to any topic you’re teaching.

What do you like to do for fun outside of school? I volunteer with the National Park Service as a member of the mounted volunteer patrol (MVP) assigned to Shark Valley, a subdivision of Everglades National Park. My duties consist of patrolling a 15-mile trail while riding a bicycle with a team of volunteer riders and providing the visitors education on the park’s history, flora and fauna, and when needed, emergency assistance and enforcement of park rules.

What’s one thing your students may not know about you? I have had the pleasure of going on medical mission trips to underserved communities in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic with Jose’s Hands, a nonprofit organization founded by my younger son, Alejandro José, that encourages a lifelong involvement in medical missions by giving scholarships to first-year medical and nursing-school students to go on medical mission trips. Alex founded Jose’s Hands in memory of my elder son, José Jamil, a U.S. Army major, orthopedic surgeon, public health advocate, and noble human being who passed away in 2008 at the age of 33 and who had expressed to his brother his desire to go annually on medical missions trips. (See www.joseshands.org.)