Our Welcome To Sanford Teacher of the Week is Jessica Morehouse of Broadway Elementary School. Mrs. Morehouse is a third-grade teacher and has been a Wildcat for the entirety of her 15-year teaching career. She holds an Associate Degree from Erie Community College in Social Sciences and Humanities and Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the State University of New York at Cortland. Mrs. Morehouse was recently recognized as Broadway’s 2018-19 Teacher of the Year. She is a member of PENCE, the AVID Schoolwide Committee and Sunshine Committee.
Mrs. Morehouse believes that education is ever-changing, and requires a teacher to change and adapt with it. She observes, “I believe teachers should strive to reach and nurture each child in their education while, at the same time, helping them to develop self-confidence and independence to become successful participants in today’s society.”
When she was in school, Mrs. Morehouse didn’t have a special teacher who was able to give her the support she needed to learn and grow. So, she decided to be that special teacher for other kids, commenting “Unlike many educators, I never had ‘the one’ teacher who inspired me to become a teacher. My struggles in school were my inspiration to become a teacher and are my inspiration to keep teaching. I never want a child in my classroom to doubt their amazingness, talents, intellect and abilities. I want to become the teacher that inspires because I never had a teacher to inspire me.”
Back when she was teaching fourth grade, around six years or so, Mrs. Morehouse had her best teaching experience. One of her former students dropped by to share something important. Mrs. Morehouse recalls, “He told me that he came to visit me for a reason; he wanted to let me know he was going to college. He wanted to tell me because I was the first person to believe in him and his ability to do what he dreamed and he never forgot what I told him. Through my tears, I told him I was so proud of him and I knew he was going to do wonderful things in life. To me that was worth more than any EOG score because to that one child something I said to him and how I treated him made an impact on the person that he was going to become one day.”
Mrs. Morehouse has some thoughts to share with prospective teachers and about the teaching profession as a whole. “Get ready to work harder than you’ve ever thought you would. It’s not going to be easy, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies, you won’t reach every student and there will be days you will cry. You will have lessons go wrong, and you will have to learn to be flexible at the drop of a hat. BUT there will be days when you get to witness miracles happen. You will reach students who need it, you will learn that you can love over 800 children and still have room in your heart for the group that comes next year. You will make a difference in each child’s life, and realize that sometimes you are their safe place. You also need to realize that you must be able to separate school from home; your home needs to be YOUR safe place. You also will need to learn that it’s OK to not grade that stack of papers that is sitting in your school bag, but instead stop and enjoy your family because they need you too, just like your students do!”