Great communities have great schools. High Point Schools Partnership creates impactful connections between our schools and the wider community to ensure students and their families are supported and can reach their full potential in High Point schools.
Part of High Point Schools Partnerships’ mission is to improve the image of our schools through storytelling. Who better to tell the stories of High Point’s schools than the people experiencing it first-hand? In this series of articles, we will highlight our 2022 High Point Extraordinary Educators as we dive deeper into what keeps them motivated in the face of constant challenges.
2022 Extraordinary Educator: Tausha Stewart
Tausha Stewart started her teaching career at Union Hill Elementary in January of 2012, this will be her 10th year teaching. She stayed because of her wonderful teammates, the staff, the admin, and the impact/difference she made in her students’ education and lives. She stays because she loves what she does and the people she works with.
Therman Flowers, the principal of Union Hill Elementary School, describes Mrs.Stewart as “Passionate about our students, Caring-and genuinely wants all of her students to achieve at high rates, and is extremely organized.” He goes on to say “Mrs.Stewart builds strong relationships with families and students. She is very organized and engages her students by getting into character and making CKLA stories come alive. She is excellent at data and over her many years of teaching, she consistently grows her students academically.”
According to Flowers, Mrs.Stewart “has a growth mindset and sets high expectations for all of her students. As a National Board-Certified teacher, she has many tools in her belt to make learning come alive…dressing up for various modules within the CKLA makes her teaching authentic and fun. She creates a “boot camp” in preparation for exit exams for various units; she provides opportunities for scholars to work collaboratively and support each other when she recognizes that they struggle to master various concepts she is teaching.”
Mrs.Stewart wants to tell her students “I love you and I believe in you, I know your potential and I will be there to help you to reach your goals. I will always be your cheerleader in the background!”
She goes on to share with parents, “I care about your students and thank you for sharing them with me. If we work together, we will make a great team for your child’s education. I will always be there to advocate for my students, as I think of them as my kids too. I love what I do!”
Q: What inspired you to become an educator?
A: When I got out of college, I had a degree in Biology and Chemistry. I volunteered to teach a kindergarten Sunday School group for a semester. Seeing their faces light up getting answers correct, watching them grow in their knowledge, and showing their level of knowledge through drawings and discussions, I thought to myself I could do this every day. I wanted to make a difference and make sure each student gets the education they deserve. This made me go back to college and get my teaching license.
Q: What’s your teaching/leadership style?
A: My teaching/leadership style is equity, giving the students what they need to be successful. I look at the data for each of my kids and then adapt my small group lessons to fit their needs. Whole group lessons are differentiated to best fit the needs of each student, as well as homework. Each year I adapt my lessons to fit the needs of the class, each class is unique, and they deserve to get an education that fits them. Every student has different needs and abilities unique to them. You can’t make students fit your lesson, your lesson has to adapt to fit the needs of the students in your class.
Q: Do you have a classroom motto or philosophy you abide by? Why?
A: The motto or philosophy I go by is: Build meaningful relationships with students and parents, meet students where they are, encourage all students to reach their individual goals, and have high expectations. Building meaningful relationships with both parents and students are the foundation of a great classroom community and students will work hard for someone who cares about them and believes in them and that they care about too! Parents appreciate knowing what is going on, both the good and the bad. Building the relationship with parents, in the beginning, makes it easier to talk about things that happen throughout the year. Students can’t start on grade level when they don’t have the previous skills or foundation, so fill in the gaps first, so they can have a foundation to build on. Celebrate any and all achievements, when each student reaches a goal we stop and celebrate, then go set a new goal to achieve. Finally, with high expectations, students won’t rise to a level you don’t expect them to reach. Each student has the potential for greatness, and I expect all my students to know that I believe in them. I expect them to do their work to the best of their abilities and turn in work they are proud of.
Q: What’s your favorite part about every day?
A: The best part about every day is seeing my student’s eyes light up with knowledge and seeing that light bulb go off saying, “I get it”! Seeing my students hit their individual goals, then us sitting down together to come up with new ones to achieve.
Q: What’s your most memorable moment as an educator?
A: One of my most memorable moments as an educator was when I was teaching my 1st/2nd-grade combo class. I was doing a Eureka lesson with my 2nd graders, while my 1st graders were doing independent stations. The lesson was on subtraction of 2-3-digit numbers with regrouping. We had a problem on the board and each student was solving it on their whiteboard. I was going from student to student making sure they were using the correct strategy and correcting any misconceptions. I looked up and my 1st graders had all gotten their whiteboards and were trying the problem too (proud teacher moment). As I am working my way through my 2nd graders I get to a student who had been struggling with the topic and had been getting remediation in small groups, and he looked up at me and said, “ I finally got it, and here’s the answer!”. We both looked at each other after I checked his answer, (he got it right!) both of us had the biggest smile with tears in our eyes. He was so proud of himself and so was I. He gave me the biggest hug. I told him to go solve it on the board, to show his work. The whole group clapped 1st and 2nd grade, they all knew how hard he had worked to get there and were proud of him too. It’s one of my favorite memories.
Q: Is there any other information you would like us to share with the community?
A: I am a National Board-Certified teacher and I am a teacher mentor at my school.
Mrs.Stewart is just one of High Point’s 2022 Extraordinary Educators. Tune in for the next few weeks to hear more stories and inspiring moments from our local teachers!
Thank you so much to Tausha Stewart for your dedication to High Point’s students. Congratulations on being selected as your school’s 2022 Extraordinary Educator!
Article written by High Point Schools Partnership Staff