Rookie Teacher of the Year has advice for new teachers

Special to Leader-Press

 

CCISD schools will be bustling with excitement on Monday. Students don’t return to the classroom until Aug. 28. But, staff return on Monday to continue their professional development and prepare their classrooms.

Teacher Jessica Bredwell returns for her second year in the classroom and she is ready.  Named CCISD’s Rookie Teacher of the Year last year, Bredwell was chosen from more than 100 new teachers in the district. 

“When I found out I was the district Rookie Teacher of the Year, I was so surprised. I had no idea I was even being considered. It was truly an honor to be selected,” Bredwell said. “I’ve collaborated with many of the other new teachers this past year and I know how hard working they all are. The first year is tough, so to be selected, I was incredibly honored and so appreciative of those who gave me their support this past year.” 

Bredwell took on the challenge of teaching a self-contained 4th grade classroom which translates to three different STAAR tests. Bredwell’s class was comprised of students who were not quite ready to transition between two or more teachers, said Williams/Ledger Elementary Principal Marla Sullivan.

“Their social-emotional needs required a compassionate heart and creative mind. Her willingness to foster a positive and nurturing culture where it’s okay not to be perfect was exactly what was needed to build our students’ confidence in themselves,” Sullivan said. “Mrs. Bredwell has embraced the growth mindset and has created a classroom where it is safe to try and where every success is met with a celebration. She has modeled perseverance for her students and has helped them learn to articulate their needs – such an important lesson for students to learn to advocate for themselves.”

Like many new teachers, Bredwell found there was never enough time in the day.

“I think the most challenging thing as a new teacher is not comparing yourself to the veteran teachers. They make it look so easy while you’re wishing you had a third arm and an extra six hours in the day to get everything done,” Bredwell said. “I’m actually not sure who did the most learning this past year, me or my students. It’s a tough job, but so worth it.”

As Bredwell heads back into the classroom ready to tackle her second year, she has some sage advice for the newcomers. 

“My advice for new teachers this year would be to communicate, collaborate, and just love your students. Know that you will make mistakes and be prepared to learn from them,” Bredwell said. “One of the best resources I had this year were my coworkers, so seek out your fellow teachers and ask questions. I think the biggest advice though is just to get to know your students and make them enjoy coming to school wanting to learn. Everything else kind of falls into place.” 

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