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.

Q Can you share one recent moment or memory that encapsulates your experience or communicates what is most meaningful about your job right now?

A My students are so excited to walk in my door every morning. I greet each student with enthusiasm and compliment them in some way. I absolutely love seeing how happy they are to walk in. My students who have experienced staying home for two weeks come back eager to learn and express how much they missed me. My class notices when students are gone, and they ask about the missing students regularly.

Q What is one way you’ve supported your students recently?

A In a COVID world, teachers are faced with asynchronous teaching. We post digital assignments daily for students who cannot learn with us in the classroom due to quarantine. I have to juggle teaching my students in person, as well as answering questions from students who are learning from home. I feel like I have become more flexible and adapted to handling both types of learners.

Q What is one way you have recently tried to address the unique needs of learners?

A We have utilized digital choice boards this year, and I have been more flexible with student choices. I have utilized specialized Istation assignments, DreamBox, Read Theory, and eSpark. All of these wonderful pieces of technology adapt to the student and teach them where they are. I love how we receive specialized reports that help us make informed decisions when it comes to pulling small groups. I feel like these hold students more accountable than stations from last year.

Q Given the good, bad, and ugly of 2020-21, what do you love about teaching right now?

A I love getting to see my students grow. I missed out on finishing my first year of teaching and did not get closure with my first class. I see my students from last year, and they are so excited to see me. This year, I hope to see all of my student’s growth from start to finish. I love seeing the excitement from a student when they finally understand a new math problem, read a higher level book, or finally understand something that has just been challenging them. Nothing can replace the joy of seeing your students succeed.