With an ever-growing population, the Houston area must also grow its support systems for its citizens and their families. This includes making sure that all of the area’s children have access to good schools, of which Houston has many. Houston Independent School District is the largest school district in the state, and many suburban districts are catching up to it. Education is a great way to take what you have learned and pass it on to others, if you value helping the next generation. Educator Amanda Lucas shares her experiences with teaching.
What degree program did you study?
“I have a bachelor of arts in English from Texas A&M University and am currently working on a master of education in curriculum and instruction, also from Texas A&M University.”
What does your current position entail?
“As an English teacher, I am responsible for teaching English language, literature and composition to students from many diverse backgrounds and with various educational needs such as English Language Learners (ELL), on-level students, advanced students and students receiving special education services including gifted and talented students. I plan lessons according to the curriculum standards set forth by the State of Texas and my district. In addition, I am responsible for ensuring that my students are well-prepared with the knowledge and skills to be successful on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) in both English and reading.”
Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?
“Graduating with an English degree and now pursuing a graduate degree in education have definitely impacted my role as a teacher. I feel that the depth of rigor I received from studying many varying genres of literature and the insight I am receiving currently regarding educational research and current trends in curriculum and instruction has allowed me to not only become a more culturally responsive teacher but also given me a fund of knowledge in order to motivate and encourage my students through my passion for literature and love for the English language.”
Have you participated in any form of continuing education since beginning this position?
“Continuing education is essential to my career. I am a firm believer that a teacher who is a life-long learner of their content area is an effective educator. I have participated in Rice University’s Advanced Placement Institute and several College Board Pre-AP workshops.”
Do you have any advice for people who would be interested in pursuing a similar career?
“If you are passionate about your students, knowledgeable about your content and maintain high expectations, you can do nothing but affect your students for the better. There are many who can teach, but those who are able to educate tomorrow’s leaders are those who share not only their skill, but their passion and zeal for life.”
Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.