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Jan Hebert


Elementary, Kindergarten

Why did you become a teacher?

I’m a creative type. I wanted to combine my art degree with my love for helping/teaching children. The creativity part comes in handy when you need an individualized strategy to help a child overcome academic or behavior challenges.

What was your pre-service training experience like, and how did it prepare you for the classroom?

My pre-service training (PST) experience was a very positive one. My coaches were very friendly, knowledgeable, and forthcoming with their experiences in the classroom. They knew that—along with course information—personal experience with classroom situations, student triumphs, and parent interactions would help new teachers better than anything else.

What support from your coach was the most valuable?

The coaches listened to my questions. They gave helpful, useful feedback that could be immediately and effectively put in place.

What has been the most rewarding part of teaching this year?

My class truly felt like a family. We watched out for each other and helped each other along. All my students showed academic progress at the end of the year. I had many parents tell me that they saw a positive difference in their child and that they “broke out of their shell.”  We had a great time last year!

How have you connected with your school’s local community?

My school’s community is a small town compared to other schools in our parish. I like that because I grew up in a small town. The parents I have gotten to know have been wonderful. We communicate through ClassDojo messages and phone calls. I tell parents to ask any question they need to ask to feel comfortable having their child at school. I think that forms a trust between parents and me/the school. They know they can count on me for answers and honesty. We’re building a community inside and outside the classroom. That keeps everyone close and helps the children through any academic and behavioral challenge.

Imagine that you’re speaking to someone who is interested in becoming a teacher but is hesitant because they’ve heard it’s so challenging. What would you tell them?

Teaching is challenging, but that’s only part of it. It is also very rewarding. There is nothing like teaching something new to a class and seeing the kids build on that new knowledge, whether it is on their own or in groups. The kids and families also help the teacher grow. Teaching is exciting and interesting because it’s not the same thing over and over. It’s never boring!

Why do you think it is important to teach right now?

Kids need our help. It’s not even a particular grade level. It’s all kids. They need someone who will show up for them every day and listen.

What keeps you motivated as a teacher?

I love seeing the way my kids interact with each other. I love when they use vocabulary we are discussing and when they get excited about how high they can count. It’s great when they want to “show off” their knowledge.