"Home is the First School

Parents are the First Teachers"

Parent Letter ~ Philosophy ~ Ms. Hazel

Parent Letter

Dear Parents,

My name is Carol Hazel and I will be your child's 5th grade teacher. A new school year is upon us and I am looking forward to working with you and your child. I know this will be one of the best years ever!

School attendance is very important to your child's educational success. Please help assure that your child gets the most out of their education through consistent attendance.

Neatness, accuracy, organization, and following directions will be emphasized with all students. The best student is not always the smartest student, but the neatest and most organized student. Daily Planners will be used to help your child strenghten organization skills for a successful year in 5th grade and to keep you informed of your child's learning. Please sign your child's daily planner after reviewing their assignments and any other communication sent home to parents.

On Monday, daily lessons will be posted on the assignments page of the ourschoolzone site. On the first day of each week, your child will bring home a envelope with a progress report and graded papers. Please sign and return the progress reports on Tuesday. Also sign any papers stamped for parent signature, and return them to school on Tuesday. This procedure will help me make sure that you have seen your child's work at least once a week. Please visit our class web site often for any updates and assignments.

Some parents have asked me, "Is all this paper signing business really necessary?" The answer is yes! The Daily Planner is a communication tool provided by the school to inform parents what your child is doing at school each day, any assignments they need to complete at home to be prepared for the next day and a way of opening discussion with your child about their day at school. Please sign the Daily Planner on a each evening after your child had shown you all of their assignments or parent notes.

Often missing assignments and behavior are linked to low grades. During the first grading quarter, assignments not turned in when due will earn a ZIP (Zero Is Possible) Slip and are due the next day. After the first grading quarter, assignments not turned in when due earn a zero grade. If your child gets a ZIP Slip, it will be stapled inside the planner. ZIP Slips must be signd and returned with the missing assignment when due. Help make sure your child achieves ABBIT (A's and B's Because I Try) or ACES (Assignments Completed Equals Success!) each quarter in the 5th grade!

Whenever you have questions or concerns, please feel free to e-mail me or call the Valencia Elementary office at 356-2707 and leave a message. I will return your call as soon as possible. You may also check the F.A.Q. section of this site for questions that may already have been asked.

The part you play in your child's education is extremely important. The interest you show in the quality and importance of your child's school work will inspire them to reach their full potential.

Ms. Carol Hazel, M. Ed.
5th Grade Teacher
Valencia Elementary School
Daytime email: chazel@portalesschools.com

"The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life."

Back to Top


I view teaching as a constant challenge. The realization that a teacher can introduce children to new worlds of information and open up new possibilities each day was motivation in itself for me to choose teaching as a profession. There is nothing more exciting than seeing the smile cross a child's face and the sparkle in their eyes when they have learned something new or finally understand the new concept they have been struggling to understand.

I believe in establishing and maintaining good communication between the home and school as "Home is the first school and parents are the first teachers." Strong communication between home and school will build a positive learning atmosphere in the classroom and can only enhance instruction and the learning process.

Teaching your child is a privilege and a tremendous responsibility. I am a life-long learner and want my students to become life-long learners as well. I do set high standards in my classroom and will not accept minimal effort from anyone, including myself. If I am to expect 100% effort from my students, then it is also fair for my students to expect the same from their teacher.

What Makes a Good Teacher? What Makes a Good Student? These two questions were posed to my students and I am impressed and enjoyed the responses they submitted. I would like to share them with you since they give some valuable insight into what students are thinking.

Back to Top

About Ms. Hazel

I have lived in Portales, NM for many years although I have lived most of my life in many other places including Key West, Florida, Kodiak, Alaska, and Midway Island. My father was in the Navy and we were fortunate enough to have had the experiences growing up of traveling and living in many different cities across the United States.

My parents and two sisters live in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. My father is retired from the Navy and Postal Service. He currently volunteers his time at the Pagosa Springs Historical Museum as well as supporting my mother in her writing and publishing career. My mother, Ann Oldham, is both an author and the museum curator of the Pagosa Springs Historical Museum. She has published two books to date and is busy writing a third book. Shari, my middle sister lives in Pagosa Springs and works at the Pagosa Sun newspaper. My youngest sister, Terri is owner of the Pagosa Sun Newspaper.

I have three sons, Jason, Chris, and Dustin. They attended school in Portales and graduated from Portales High School. Jason and his wife Kelly live In Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Jason's business is Hazel Digital Media. His business entails a variety of video productions, from web sites to TV commercials and more. Kelly is a real estate agent at Real Living in the Low County. Chris lives in Amarillo, Texas where is work for Gene Messer Ford and is the father to my first grandchild Justin Ross. Dustin Davidson lives in Hereford, Texas and works in heating and air conditioning. He is the father of my second grandson, Marty Wayne Davidson who is name after his great papa Marty Martinez and his grandfather Michael Wayne Davidson. I have 2 wonderful dogs: Charlie, a Chocolate Labrador Retriever, and
Honey Bear our Chinese Sharpei.

I attended college at ENMU where I earned both my Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees. I have earned Reading Renaissance Model Classroom Certification 3 years and have earned Reading Renaissance Master Certification. I was honored to receive nominations for Disney Teacher of the Year Award by former students during 2000, 2001, and 2002. I am honored to have been nominated by for the 2003 Who's Who Among American Teachers by Crystal Lopez, for the 2004 Who's Who Among American Teachers by Jenna Lee Craig, and the 2005 Who's Who Among American Teachers by Samantha Foshee. I have also had the opportunity to work several times for the National Science Foundation in Arlington, VA during the past four years. I am also a Dossier Reviewer for the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED), and have worked with Harcourt Publishers and the NMPED on development of th NMSAP, the New Mexico Criterion Referenced Test.

This is my 15th year teaching 5th grade for the Portales Municipal School District and I consider myself to be very fortunate to be among such a professional faculty.

"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn."
~Joseph Cotton

Back to Top