First-year insights from Gwinnett teachers

First-year insights from Gwinnett teachers

Gwinnett County Public Schools will welcome approximately 1,000 new teachers to Gwinnett schools in 2008-09. Four teachers who were new to Gwinnett shared experiences from their first year in a GCPS classroom, lessons learned, and words of advice.

Katy Bettencourt
Creekland Middle School
7th grade Language Arts

"Growing up in the Brookwood community and teaching this past year, I have learned that Gwinnett County is truly the best place to be as a student or a teacher. The goal set in Gwinnett County is that everyone in the learning community works to acheive a high standard of success."

Dr. Jade Gillispie
Maxwell High School of Technology
11th and 12th grade Healthcare Science

"The first year was excellent. It was all that I thought and prayed for it to be. I began my first day being supported by an awesome principal and support staff that provided me with everything I needed. I'm most proud of the way that students who were otherwise considered to be shy and secluded, were able to stand before an audience of peers, present an idea, debate that idea, and have an understanding of its impact on healthcare."

Shawn Mazzatta
Camp Creek Elementary
K-5 Art

"My students have taught me that I am a teacher. Although my subject area is Art, I have learned through my students that I am a teacher first! They have truly helped me realize that it is not what I am teaching, but how I am teaching that is most important. My Camp Creek Elementary learning community has helped guide me through my first year not only as a teacher, but also as a learner. They have helped reassure me that the key to being a successful teacher is to be an active learner!"

Jessica Rigdon
Berkmar Middle
8th grade Language Arts

"My first year of teaching turned out to be the most rewarding and amazing experience in my life. My students became my life. Each one is so very special in their own way and I will always remember each and every one of them. The best advice I can offer for a new teacher is don't be afraid to ask for help. My mentor was able to give me the extra resources-- and sometimes, extra confidence-- that I needed to make it through the year."