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Nimitz teacher faces fears to provide new experiences to students

The stay-at-home orders during this coronavirus pandemic have us all looking for new ways to keep ourselves entertained and busy. Many North East ISD teachers are taking this time to offer their students a different way to connect and learn while they are stuck at home.

Justine Del Toro is the Theatre Arts teacher at Nimitz Middle School. This is her first year as a certified teacher.

“I couldn’t have found a more wonderful school or more amazing students,” said Del Toro.

But this campus closure has forced her to figure things out from home and away from those amazing students. Nimitz Principal Jennifer Cooper suggested offering digital classes for students so everyone could stay connected.

“I think the main benefit of having these Zoom classes is that I can see my students again and help bring back some normalcy during this time.”

Del Toro remembered how much she enjoyed cooking with her family when she was younger and thought it could be a great way to connect with the kids.

“I think cooking is a basic skill everybody should have. Besides that, food is an important aspect of culture and heritage.”

While the subject of cooking was an easy decision, actually teaching the classes wasn’t.

“Teaching at school is one thing, but sharing this part of my life – and literally sharing part of my home - is a new experience. I was nervous that it wasn’t going to be interesting, or that I wouldn’t be qualified enough to talk about food.”

About a dozen students sat in on her first virtual cooking class. She showed how to make chocolate-covered strawberries. She explained how to temper chocolate, and what chocolate works best. She was actually very knowledgeable about the subject.

“My ultimate hope is for students to see cooking as something accessible to them – that as they get older, their options are not limited to fast food or frozen meal,” said Del Toro.

If you didn’t catch the first class, don’t worry, she’s hosting more. Ms. Del Toro’s Cooking 101 class is on Tuesdays at 4:00 p.m. on Zoom. The meeting code is: 601-822-462


Posted by: Evan Henson