Jessica Webster is a second grade teacher on the English side of the Chinese Immersion Program at South Fork Elementary School. This is her seventh year teaching, all of which has been done at South Fork.

What made you decide to be a teacher? I get summers off! It’s a great job that allows me to spend more time with my family. I also love working with children.

What do you enjoy about being a teacher? It’s very rewarding to help students learn and grow. I love seeing the light bulb go off in their brain as they learn and understand a new concept. It is also very entertaining. Kids say the darndest things.

What are some challenges? There just isn’t enough time. I would love to be able to spend more time with each of my students. In the immersion program, I have twice the students with half the time. It’s also difficult to watch students and families go through rough times. I want every child to be successful and sometimes that’s very hard when they are going through so much outside of school.

What is an experience you have had as a teacher that stands out to you? I like to emphasize in my class that we can do hard things. I want the students to be kind to themselves and think positively. Several years ago, I got a text from a parent of one of my students and she said her daughter was dealing with a challenging situation over the summer. After a while, the girl came up to her mom and told her that she knew she could do it. She brought up what she had learned in my class and that even though it was hard, she would get through it. It made my day that what I taught her stuck with her and transferred over into other areas.

Why did you decide to teach at the school you are currently at? South Fork is the school my kids went to and I love the school! I love the teachers, students, and parents that I get to work with.

What is something interesting about you most of your students don’t know? Most are shocked when they find out how old I am, that I have 4 children, two of which have already graduated from high school. I’m also about to become a grandma.

What are some things that are different in the education system now compared to when you first started teaching/when you were a student? The advancement of technology seriously amazes me. We have and use so much technology and it helps me tremendously in the classroom. The level of learning is also so much higher than when I was a student. Kids are expected to know and do so much, and they do!