Showing Us What Brave Looks Like

November 10, 2020  

In a brand new job under unthinkable circumstances. New surprises every week. Trying to support students in ways they never expected. Yet, they “would not want to be in any other profession.”

Texas teachers find inspiration in their profession, and in the process, inspire us. New teachers also encounter unprecedented challenges in the 2020-21 school year, and face those challenges head-on. 

The excerpts below give us a glimpse into the lives of some of the best new teachers in Texas. Ten of the Charles Butt Scholar alumni, now first- and second-year teachers, share their struggles, victories, and learnings in this new Q&A feature: 

See Q&A


When my students are exposed and have to quarantine, they join us online and I teach them live, along with the rest of my class that is in-person. I remember one day I had an in-person student who came up to me and told me that they were going to be picked up early that day. I had told her that I would be able to catch her back up when she returned to class the next day. Before she left, she said she didn’t want to miss any class and asked if she could log online and complete the rest of her day with us … It warmed my heart that she still wanted to participate and finish out her day with us.” — Cayley Guess, Lubbock ISD


In our daily writing activity, I asked my students, ‘what motivates you during these hard times?’ The majority of my students mentioned how I motivated them. They noticed how happy I was every day to teach them.” — Raquel Pérez McAllen ISD

Recently I have begun to prep my lessons about two months in advance because I realized that when we do packet distributions [to students learning at home], I sometimes don’t have the material I need for my students to learn best. So now I have to think, ‘What will I be teaching six weeks from now?’ so that I know which work to send home so they will be ready for those lessons. It takes a lot of time, but I do it so my students have everything they need. I am even creating craft kits for them so that we can do crafts together on Google meets!” — Theresa Garza CISD


Teaching life entails long hours of contacting parents, following CDC guidelines, being the students’ strongest support system, and building relationships … Teaching life entails being the students’ mentor, counselor, parent, supporter, as well as their teacher.” She later writes: “I LOVE everything about teaching.” — Clarissa Rodriguez, Harlingen CISD

Tags: Charles Butt Scholars Raising Texas Teachers teaching
Categories: Teaching

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