Entering the English Department: Ms. Eljaiek Joins the Cavaliers


Diego Gómez Bello

Ms. Eljaiek stands in front of her bulletin board of motivational messages that she decorated to encourage her students to work hard in and out of the classroom.

Diego Gómez Bello, Staff Writer

Coral Gables Senior High saw many English teachers retire last school year, leaving a gap to fill in the English Department. However, Cavaliers welcomed just as many teachers as they bid farewell in the 2021-2022 school year. One of the latest staff members to join the Gables family is English teacher Ms. Eljaiek.

Ms. Eljaiek is a longtime Florida resident, hailing from Winterhaven, a city located in the central area of the state. She went to Nova Southeastern University for undergraduate school, where she majored in Special Education and, later, got her master’s degree in English for Speakers of Other Languages at the University of Miami.

For as long as she can remember, Ms. Eljaiek has wanted to be a teacher. Finding herself drawn to reading and expanding her knowledge on new topics, these early interests morphed into her current career as a teacher. Having the ability to educate others and share her love for literature with students is a combination of her passions.

Before coming to Gables, Ms. Eljaiek previously worked as a head teller at a bank, then taught middle school English and reading at West Miami Middle School and Kinloch Middle School for 25 years.

The essays we do are fun. I feel that they’ve helped me become better at writing…Ms. Eljaiek is a great teacher, she is very compassionate and understanding. I like that about her,

— freshman Michelle Bermudaz

Currently, she teaches English I Honors and Regular, Intensive Reading and Critical Thinking to freshmen. Despite this being her first year teaching at the high school level, Ms. Eljaiek is confident and expects her students to score well on their upcoming Florida State Assessments.

“I like to help my students individually when they need it. I believe my students will gain a lot of knowledge this year,” Ms. Eljaiek said.

Striving to make sure that no student is left out, Ms. Eljaiek likes to make use of tools such as name wheels that will choose students at random to participate in class discussions. Always making time for those who need more personalized and individual instruction, the new Cavalier works towards benefitting all her students and catering to their needs.

Planning lessons and having her students complete assignments is how Ms. Eljaiek works to make her students become better readers and writers.

“She’s a good teacher … My favorite project this year was the one we did on our ambitions and motivations. We had to write about what we wanna do when we grow up so I wrote about how I wanna be a game developer,” freshman George Abraham said.

While making sure students learn is at the top of Ms. Eljaiek’s list, remaining caring and compassionate while showing her students she is both a teacher and a friend is an ultimate priority. The English teacher goes out of her way to learn more about her students and form a meaningful bond with them, something that helps elevate her classroom environment.

Ms. Eljaiek has cemented herself as a valued Cavalier in the eyes of both her students and Gables. Forming part of the English department and becoming a new face for freshmen, Gables welcomes Ms. Eljaiek as part of the Cavalier family.