Jamie Fontenot: Second grade teacher at Highland Elementary

How did you end up at Highland Elementary? What year did you start?

I graduated from LSU with a degree in Elementary Education in 2014. I taught in Jefferson Parish for 4 years then moved to Baton Rouge. I started teaching at Highland Elementary last school year, and I feel lucky every day that I get to work here. It truly is a wonderful school with caring faculty and administration.

Why are you interested in teaching?

I have wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. I have always loved school, and I had great teachers who were good examples of what a teacher should be. I cannot remember a time when I did not want to teach. There is something so special about an elementary school, and how it is almost its own little world with so many different moving parts. Teaching is never boring. Every day is a new adventure. Every year is a new beginning.

What do you love most about your students?

I love that every student is different and has his/her own little personality. Each student brings his/her own perspective to the class community. My students are very curious and surprise me every day with their questions and comments. I love that they help each other and care about each other. They help one another with school questions as well as routines and procedures. I learn from them every day.

Why did you agree to be part of Our Class? What do you hope it will achieve?

I was excited to be part of “Our Class” because as a teacher, it is rare to have someone offer to help you with time, help, resources and supplies, and experiences like field trips. Often, teachers must pay for things themselves, and it is too costly for teachers to handle on their own. Experiences like field trips are awesome for kids to learn through real life experiences, but field trips are expensive too, and if families have more than one child at a school, sometimes it is hard for them to pay for multiple trips in a year.

I am also excited to have people see how much they can help the community by supporting local public schools who truly need it. Sometimes people do not realize how much local public schools need to thrive. We want to make our school the best it can be because that helps each child have a good future.

What do you think people need to think about most regarding the public education system?

I think people need to know that the people who work in public schools work hard every day to help children. It is much more challenging than people know, and it continues to get more challenging. If you do not work for a school, or have someone close to you who does, you probably do not know how many public schools are in desperate need of school supplies, books, and technology. We need to put support and money into our public schools because these children are the future of Louisiana and the future of our country.

Tell us a little about your life outside the school. Hobbies?

I love spending time with my husband, Evan, and my two dogs, Reesie and Daisy. I love to play tennis, read, and watch TV. My favorite hobby is going out to eat.

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