Hearing from our peers is powerful! Someone who works alongside us, whom we’ve chosen as one of our best knows exactly what we need to hear. For that reason, it is a tradition for the GISD Teachers of the Year to speak at convocation. This year we were awestruck by those who shared their stories.
Telling her story of learning to LOVE and really KNOWING her students, GES Teacher of the Year, Danette Jewell, reminded us why we have chosen to work in an educational environment. Many educators choose this profession because of family, which is also true for Danette. She spent many hours as a child at the school because her mom and grandmother both worked there. Side by side, she would walk, learn, and collect “cherished items” that would finally chart her course as an educator. Mentors are priceless! Danette admitted that her first year as a teacher might have been her last if it weren’t for a colleague. This veteran teacher helped her to understand that we are not here to control, but to lead. Danette said, “This made me think back to my Grandma Barb, and how she got the kids in detention to respect and work for her: by showing up for them day after day and doing the work alongside them, while also showing them that she genuinely cared about them. I needed to take the time to really get to know my students.” You see, Danette’s mom and grandmother weren’t classroom teachers, but were members of the custodial staff who taught students the value of hard work and relationships. We are ALL in this together! We are so excited that Danette did not leave teaching that first year and found her way to Gunter where she belongs.