Jessie Helms is a teacher at Dallas ISD’s Annie Webb Blanton Elementary School whose energy and passion for teaching is contagious in her classroom and have a tremendous impact on her students’ success.
Meet a Top 100 Teacher, a Hub feature that talks with top educators in Dallas ISD, caught up with Helms in her classroom at Blanton Elementary.
What motivates/inspires you?
My students are what motivate and inspire me. I get to watch my students grow socially and academically every day and it motivates me to continue to work hard so I can give my students the amazing education that I know they each deserve. The pressure I feel of wanting my students to prove to everyone how smart I know they are also keeps me constantly motivated.
How do you motivate and inspire your students?
To motivate and inspire my students, I try to relate to them the best that I can. I am open with my students and tell them stories of my life in school that highlight both the success and failures I have faced. We also look at professional athletes and other famous people that my students are interested in and have discussions about their work ethics and life choices. I constantly try to relate things back to my students in a way that makes sense to them and gets them invested in their own lives and education. One-on-one conversations are also valuable in my classroom where I spend a few minutes reminding my students how important they are and how much I truly believe in them and their futures!
What one bit of advice would you give a college education major about what it takes to be a successful teacher?
A piece of advice I would give to an education major about what it takes to be a successful teacher is that it takes passion! If you are not truly passionate about providing the best educational opportunities for every student you encounter, then this job is not for you! In teaching, your passion really drives your work and it is what keeps teachers going and pushing themselves and their students to be better every day. This passion is necessary to be a successful teacher.
What do you hope your students take away from their time in your classroom?
I hope my students leave my classroom truly believing that they can do anything they put their minds to and that their hard work, resilience and determination will get them wherever they hope to be. I also always hope my students realize that they are in control of their own lives and that no matter where they end up, I will always care about them and be one of their biggest fans!
What is your ultimate career goal in the education field?
I have a lot of goals in education, but before anything else, I want to become the very best teacher I can possibly be. Once I convince myself I have accomplished that goal, I would love to hold a position where I could help teachers grow as educators and continue to impact student lives in the largest way possible.