Catherine Dumont is a fourth grade English Language Arts teacher at Bing Elementary School.
As a teacher who really wants to make an impact, Achievement Schools are the place to be. I’ve been teaching in the district for 14 years and even though this is my first year at Bing Elementary, I’ve taught in other Achievement Schools in Hillsborough County. The rewards are exponential.
At Achievement Schools, there’s a sense of urgency. We have to start filling in the gaps academically, emotionally and mentally for the whole child, and there’s not a minute to spare. We come together as a team. The resources are incredible.
Once you give these students a feeling of safety, and once you help them discover things about themselves – that they can learn and really want to learn and that they can reach their goals – that sense of accomplishment is everything.
It is so empowering to see them and their self-esteem blossom right in front of you. You must care about them and you have to invest in them – knowing their families and what the home situation is. You have to be empathetic, patient, supportive and loving, because that’s what they remember.
It’s important to remind the students that inside the classroom, this is their world. They control their own destiny and make their own choices about how much they want to learn or how focused they are each day.
Education is the key. Learning is the way out and the way to change your life forever.
I would like my students to feel that I’m helping prepare them for life, and that starts with how they feel about themselves. Once they get it and they’re on board, there’s no stopping them. That is profoundly fulfilling; nothing beats it. It’s like a million-dollar paycheck.
This is Why #WeAchieveTogether.
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