Teacher, John F. Kennedy Elementary, Edinburg CISD
Charles Butt Scholar Alum, UT Rio Grande Valley
Ten Charles Butt Scholar alumni, now first and second-year teachers, share their struggles, victories, and learnings a few months into the 2020-21 school year. These new Texas teachers find inspiration in their profession, and in the process, inspire us. Explore the full Q&A portfolio.
A It is definitely not as I expected it would be, however, just as rewarding as I imagined. It is very tough to work with students who face internet problems or just can’t seem to concentrate due to the distractions found in their home. I have days where I am very stressed, but others where I love what I do and look forward to seeing the kids, even if it is online.
A Texans should know that expectations for teachers have not been lowered despite working during a pandemic. On the contrary, I believe they are higher than ever because we do so much more than before. Standardized testing is a big influence on Texas schools, and it has not gone away. Teachers are still trying to teach and prepare their students as much as possible for the end-of-the-year exams, and it has gotten extremely hard due to our current situation.
A I had a time in which a mother sent me a message where she just wanted to tell me that my hard work is not unnoticed and that she appreciates all that I do for the kids and her son. To me, that served as reassurance that I was doing my job well and that no matter how hard things get, I cannot give up because they depend on me.
A I think no education prepares you for teaching during a pandemic. Although, being a Charles Butt Scholar enabled me to be in the UTRGV Step Up program, which immersed me in a school classroom for an entire year. That experience definitely prepared me well enough to tackle my first year in the classroom, yet working with students online for a whole day, never seeing them in person, and preparing to teach with two monitors is something no amount of education can prepare me for.
A I love that despite never seeing my students in person, I still have meaningful connections with them. I love to see them learn and get good grades even though online learning is tough for them. I enjoy seeing them every day, even if it is through a computer, and I look forward to seeing them in person someday.
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