Salute to St. John the Baptist Parish teachers

Published 12:06 am Saturday, April 29, 2017

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 1-5, and L’OBSERVATEUR is honoring our region’s many wonderful teachers.

We contacted every school in St. John the Baptist Parish, asking for their help spotlighting two teachers from their campus. Each teacher answered the following questions: What do you think makes a successful teacher? & What is one thing parents can do to help a teacher? The results are as follows.

Jamey L. Trosclair

Ascension of Our Lord

I believe there are many qualities that make a teacher successful, but the one on the top of my list is being passionate about teaching and working with children. Successful teachers are excited about influencing their students’ lives, and they realize the impact they have on the lives of their students. I feel that when the passion and desire to do your best is present, it will ensure success in not only the teacher but the student as well.

I believe the most important thing a parent can do to help a teacher is staying involved and keeping the lines of communication open at all times. Also, trusting that the teacher always has the student’s best interest at heart.

Lisa LeBlanc

Ascension of Our Lord

I think a successful teacher works well with their colleagues and the parents of the students entrusted to their care. They need to be well prepared for their lessons and willing to adapt those lessons as needed. A successful teacher should listen to their students and make sure their needs are being met.

I believe the most important thing a parent can do to help a teacher is to be involved in their child’s education. When parents and teachers work together, it helps ensure the success of the child.

Cheryl P. Clark

Child Development Center/Head Start

A successful teacher is a good organizer, planner, communicator and dedicated to their students and their families. A teacher should show a genuine love for their students.

The parents of students who communicate daily with their child’s teacher, volunteer regularly at school and read daily to their child help their child have more academic success at school.

Bonnie Smith-Grows

Child Development Center/Head Start

Dedication, motivation, determination and positive attitude make me a successful teacher. Just knowing that everyday I am helping our future doctors, lawyers and teachers to be the best they can be is rewarding enough to love each child and to treat them as if they were my own.

One thing that parents can do to help a teacher is to keep an open line of communication with their child’s teacher and to make frequent visits to their child’s class. I encourage my parents to volunteer in the classroom.

Angela Perez

Emily C Watkins Elementary

A successful teacher is one that can teach not only academics but can also teach patience, kindness, compassion and a sense of achievement. A successful teacher has high expectations for her students. She/he helps students go beyond what they believe their capabilities are to achieve goals they never thought possible. A successful teacher engages students, makes learning fun and makes students want to learn. A successful teacher teaches her students to succeed.

I know that life is busy, but the one thing that parents can do to help teachers is to show a daily interest in their child’s school day and/or schoolwork. Many students feel that their parents don’t care about their day, but on the contrary they do, they just get busy with life. When students know their parents care, they care!!

Priscilla Guidry Galliano

East St. John Elementary

I believe a successful teacher is one who has a love of learning and helping children. You must also have enthusiasm along with a desire to make a difference in a child’s life. You must always reflect on your practices and be willing to improve. A teacher should always have high expectations for students and help them be successful so they can become a better person. Our children will eventually become our future, so we should only give them the best to help them triumph.

Parents play an important role in their child’s education because it pushes the child to work hard. Parents are a big influence in a child’s life, and children will make more of an effort when they see someone caring about what they are doing in school. We only want the best for our children, so why not have them strive to be better people.

Deneisha Adams-Harry

East St. John High

What makes me successful is my ability to manage a classroom, establish a rapport with my students, research and implement new instructional strategies and make history relevant. What makes any teacher successful is their ability to provide structure, consistency and meaningful learning experiences to all students, despite their grade level, ethnicity, academic ability or economic status.

I think parents can help their children understand the value of an education. They can help their students have learning experiences outside of the classroom by exploring their community. They can help their children understand the world around them by having discussions about current events and exposing them to the world outside of the parish lines. Most importantly, they can become informed about grade level requirements, school-wide expectations and become active in their child’s school.

Pam Steib

Fifth Ward Elementary

I believe my hard work, high expectations for students and dedication to the teaching profession makes me a successful teacher. I believe that all children can learn, and regardless of the circumstances and challenges, I have hope for their potential and their abilities to become productive citizens. Therefore, I am dedicated to creating a classroom environment that is academically rigorous; safe and supportive; conducive to learning and one that fosters a love of learning.

One thing parents can do to help a teacher is to set high expectations for their children!

Halle Gayten

Fifth Ward Elementary

I believe a successful teacher is a teacher with high expectations for all students, a teacher that will go above and beyond so that all students reach these expectations. A successful teacher is able to form strong relationships with each student and show they care about them.

 One of the most important things a parent can do to help a teacher would be staying involved. Being involved with activities going on at school, communication with your child’s teacher and helping with homework and studying is very important for a child’s success.

Sara Beber

Garyville/Mt. Airy Math and Science Magnet

In my opinion, a successful teacher is one that motivates his/her students. I always try to make personal connections with my students and their interests outside of school. When I can incorporate topics my students are interested in into daily lessons, engagement is boosted, which directly impacts students’ achievements. I also believe a successful teacher ensures his/her students know we care about them and will support them in their goals.

The No. 1 thing parents can do to help a teacher is involvement. Be involved with your child’s education! It has always been a tremendous help for me as a teacher when parents are supportive and reinforce the learning at home as much as they possibly can.

Trayvonia Duhe

Garyville/Mt. Airy Math and Science Magnet

A successful teacher is knowledgeable of their content and their students. They are able to engage their students in a way that maximizes their understanding of the concept and skills being taught.

Parents do a lot simply by trusting the school and the teachers to do what’s in the best interest of their child(ren) everyday. This relationship is even stronger when parents and teachers work together to capitalize on their child’s individual academic strengths and support them through their weaknesses.

Joel’ Baer

John L. Ory Communication Arts Magnet

Successful teachers provide rich opportunities for literacy and always remember the motto, “To teach is to touch lives forever!”

Parents can read to their children everyday to help create lifelong readers, because children who love reading become adults who love reading

Rachel Rizzo

John L. Ory Communication Arts Magnet

A successful teacher knows each of her students and works hard to meet their individual needs. The teacher not only teaches the curriculum but goes above and beyond to make learning fun and teach his/her students life skills.

Parents can help a teacher by working with their child at home. They can also help their child reflect on the school day and discuss how to make each day a great one.

Kay Norsworthy

LaPlace Elementary School

I feel a successful teacher is one that is knowledgeable about the content they teach. A successful teacher is one that understands not every student goes home to a perfect situation. Sometimes you have to listen to them and consider their individual needs. A successful teacher is patient but firm with their students. I pray for patience every morning.

Parents need to be actively involved in their child’s education. They should take time to ask them about their day. Parents should know what is going on at school, like when report cards and progress reports go home. Parents and teachers should be supportive of each other and communicate.

Shontrece Lathers

Lake Pontchartrain Elementary

A successful teacher believes that all students are capable of learning. They are knowledgeable in their content areas and create a positive learning environment. Successful teachers are also nurturing and enthusiastic about the learning process.

The one thing I believe parents can do to help a teacher is have an open line of communication. When parents and teachers work together it creates a solid foundation that all parties can build upon.

Elizabeth Alexander

LaPlace Elementary School

A successful teacher is one who sets high expectations for her students, while forming strong relationships with parents and students. They are not scared of what technology holds for education in the future and are willing to learn and incorporate the new trends into their classroom. They also have a love for lifelong learning.

Parents can help teachers by being partners with their child’s teacher. Communication between both teacher and parent will ensure a successful school year!

Debbie Trahan

Riverside Academy

A successful teacher remains objective and compassionate while challenging students to reach beyond their own expectations.

Parents need to be parents, not friends. If students are held accountable at home, it’s not an odd concept for them to face accountability at school, too.

Lindsay Guidry

Riverside Academy

I think a successful teacher is someone who is dedicated, hard-working, caring, loving, patient and enthusiastic. Successful teachers should also have a love of learning, a great sense of humor and love helping others.

 Having a good partnership with your child’s teacher and school staff is very important. Being supportive of them and communicating with them regularly can help their child succeed.

Christine Creppel

St. Charles Catholic

A successful teacher is one who, in his/her heart, has a great passion and enthusiasm not only for teaching but also for lifelong learning and for the subject matter they are teaching. She is one whose nature is compassionate and supportive towards students and is one who challenges and inspires students to reach farther than they ever thought possible. Finally on an organizational level, a successful teacher is prepared daily with engaging learning activities that students can connect with in order to use the acquired skills in their everyday life, has patience to guide and encourage students through these activities and adapts well to the differing needs of the students and the inevitable daily changes that come with working in a school environment.

 For several years I have stressed to the parents of my students my motto, “Communication is Key!” This is a two-fold process: communicate with your child and communicate with your child’s teacher. I ask that parents stay involved in knowing what is going on in their child’s classroom/studies, reminding their child of upcoming quizzes, tests, projects, etc., as well as showing an interest in what he is learning in each subject, and encouraging the student to challenge himself in his studies. In addition, I ask that parents keep me informed about what I call the child’s “academic mood.” I tell parents to email me frequently to keep me apprised of how their child is feeling about my class/subject matter, about school in general or about what is going on in the child’s life that may affect his/her performance. For example, email me when they see their child struggling with homework or frustrated with something he is trying to do or if there is an issue going on in the child’s life that I need to be aware of because all of these things affect how successful a student will be.

Gary Zeringue

St. Charles Catholic

A successful teacher has a deep rooted commitment to do whatever is necessary to help each and every student to learn and perform beyond what they even think is possible.

Parents can help teachers by closely monitoring their child’s progress in all areas, including tests, quizzes, homework, behavior, etc. They can help at home by providing a quiet place for students to study and do assignments.

Lori White

St. Joan of Arc

I am blessed to have been a teacher for 31 years. I believe many teachers know at a very young age that they were destined to teach. For others, their passion for teaching seems to evolve. Either way I believe what is important is how they fulfill their calling and in doing so become a successful teacher. Over the years, I have realized how essential it is to be truly passionate about teaching. One needs to have a love of children and a sincere desire to see each child be successful academically, emotionally and socially. Enthusiasm, determination and organization are also crucial in the classroom. Finally, one needs to make sure each child feels special, safe and secure while in the classroom.

Parental involvement is an essential part of each child’s education. When parents spend time talking with their child about their school day, helping them with their homework and assisting them with studying, I see a more confident, content and successful student.

Lisa Pregeant

St. Joan of Arc

A successful teacher recognizes and teaches to each student’s individual needs. They challenge and encourage students to not only meet but exceed their potential. And they celebrate their students’ accomplishments, no matter how big or small.

Parents can help a teacher by working with the student to support learning at school and at home.

Cathy Cartozzo

St. Peter School

I am celebrating my 21st year as a Catholic school teacher; 16 years in kindergarten and my 5th in pre-k. Many have rolled their eyes with tongue in cheek when I say what I do for a living. If only they knew the fun and rewards I experience each day. I owe my success to the ability to be able to view the world through the eyes of a child. Each morning while writing my daily objectives on the board I explain to the children how the lesson will relate to their young lives. Throughout the year I love watching them mature with respect and understanding for their fellow classmates as well as the outside world.

In order to keep the fact that “I am an adult” in check, it is important to keep an open relationship with the students’ parents. Parents play such an important role in the children’s educational environment. I feel it is so important for parents to spend quality time each day with their children after school discussing “what you did today.” Children are so happy to inform, as well as please their parents with their newfound accomplishments. They naturally love to show off.

Erica Englade

St. Peter School

As a second year teacher of first grade, I have quickly come to realize that my role is not just teaching straight from a book. To reach the students, learning needs to be fun and creative, such as using shaving cream and play dough to learn spelling and sight words. Also, I use manipulatives and games to reinforce mathematics and science targets. Truly enjoying what I do makes that easy, and seeing the students’ expressions when they learn and understand reinforces that for me.

One thing a parent can do to help a teacher is to stay involved in their child’s work by helping them with homework and going over what they missed on a test.

Markquelyn Ursin

St. John Alternative School

A successful teacher cares about students’ future, experiences in the classroom and has a great understanding of his/her subject matter. He/she has knowledge of discipline and classroom management techniques, with a desire to make a difference in the lives of young people.

Parents can help teachers by supporting their child’s education 100 percent. When parents are involved in the child’s educational experience, the child does better and has better feelings about going to school.

Shona Lynn Singleton

West St. John Elementary

Flexibility makes a successful teacher. In the classroom we are not just teachers, we wear a billion and one hats. Our hats are interchangeable; we change them in a matter of minutes.

One thing parents could do to help a teacher is to put emphasis on the importance of education. When parents show their child that education is a priority, the students begin to perform better in the classroom.

Bridget D. Colly

West St. John Elementary School

As an educator of 19 years, I believe you must have dedication and a love for children to remain a successful teacher. I believe all children have the capability to learn, but there are so many times things that fall outside of traditional teaching responsibilities. So being flexible is also important, because there are times as a teacher you become an advisor, counselor and confidant. It’s my responsibility as a teacher to listen to my students’ needs and help them discover what they are capable of achieving. I want to help each student to be his/her best by reaching their greatest potential.

One thing parents can do to help a teacher is to be involved in their children’s education. Let them know that education is important by simply discussing their school day with them, helping with homework and keeping them organized. When parents support our educational system and realize our goals are the same, our students are more successful.

Bertha Spivey-Steward

West St. John High

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Teaching is one of the most important professions in our society as we prepare students for future success. A successful teacher is knowledgeable about their content area and know what standards students need to master at each grade level. They must be passionate about teaching and learning. A great personality is also a critical component to being a successful teacher, as teachers interact with many people on various levels. They realize that a good relationship with parents is crucial. Great teachers leave their problems outside of their classrooms and work environments. They provide fair and equal treatment to ALL students. A successful teacher knows the value of establishing good relationships with their students, as students are more willing to learn and cooperate with a teacher who they believe cares about them as individuals. A great teacher starts building good relationships and establishing rules, routines and procedures the first day of school in order to have a great school year. This is a proactive approach to potential discipline problems and it assists greatly with classroom management. Successful teachers start with the end in mind and plan accordingly. They plan lessons that actively engage students, and they teach bell to bell.

Successful teachers know not all lessons come from the textbook. They take advantage of every teachable moment. They incorporate moral lessons, social development activities and life skills. Great teachers encourage their students to be life-long learners and independent thinkers. Great teachers strive to make a positive impact on their students. They never stop learning, thus, they continue to educate themselves. They attend professional development workshops to keep up with the constant changes in education that move our students forward and prepare them for the global world.

Lastly, successful teachers love what they do and strive to do it well. Loving students and wanting to make a positive difference in their lives is a major concern for a successful teacher.

One thing I think parents can do to help a teacher is to communicate with the teacher and reinforce what the teacher implements at school. When teachers and parents work collaboratively, students are successful.

Lorenzo Edwards

West St. John High

I think that I am a successful teacher because I am honest. My students know that if they ask me a question that they will get an honest answer, sometimes they say too honest. I think that makes me approachable and lets my students feel comfortable asking me questions about things we are doing in class, as well as questions when they are seeking advice.

One thing that I think parents can do to help teachers is to teach their child responsibility for home and school. In the courses that I teach there is a huge amount of responsibility that is necessary for students to be successful. We spend a good amount of time trying to get students to the point of being responsible enough to complete their projects independently or do their part in a group. I know that this would be a great help to teachers of all subjects.