Orange Grove Named Co-Teacher of the Year 2017-18

                           Veronica Velez and Lisa Perkins-Jackson named
                                     Co-Teacher of the Year for Orange Grove. 
 Veronica Velez - OG CO-Teacher of the Year                                                                                     Lisa Perkins-Jackson - OG Co-Teacher of the Year                                                                   
 Veronica Velez - Co-Teacher of the Year 2017-18                                   
 My name is Veronica Maria Velez and I am an ESL-Kindergarten teacher, at Orange Grove Elementary. I am finishing my sixth year as an educator for Aldine. I was born in the area and raised in the schools making me a product of Aldine. I graduated from Nimitz High School, in 2002, with the desire and ambition to become not just a teacher-but, an inspiration and role model for all kids in Aldine. I later graduated from UHD, becoming the first to receive a degree in my family.

 I became a teacher because I wanted to make a difference by showing my students that I have overcome the obstacles of ADHD and being labeled a trouble maker. I could never sit still or stop talking. I was the kid most teachers watched for and silently hoped was absent that day. I was always in the office receiving conduct notes for behavior. I struggled in school because I learned differently. I was a hands-on, visual learner and I needed to move around and be allowed to turn and talk to my peers once in a while. I was not defiant nor did I lack the ability to learn I just need the lessons to be tailored to fit my learning style.

 I know firsthand how important it is to have someone who understands and values differentiated instruction. I wouldn’t be here or where I am today without the love and support of my parents and the great teachers who believed in me. As a teacher, it is important to enhance and encourage every child to reach their optimal learning powers. The rapport between the teacher and student determines the amount of trust given and the type of learning environment set for the year.

 Teaching is the most rewarding career. I am continuously rewarded when I see my students read first or second grade leveled books or write complete stories, knowing most of them couldn’t identify an alphabet letter or write their names just a few months ago.

 Lisa Perkins-Jackson  - Co-Teacher of the Year 2017-18  

Mrs Jackson is a loving wife and a proud mother of three daughters and one son. She is a five year teacher. She received her degree from the University of Houston-Downtown in Decembers of 2012. She started her teaching career at Houston Independent School District, however, after two years decided to come to Aldine were she found a home at Orange Grove Elementary. In her five years of teaching she has had the pleasure of teaching fifth grade, second grade, first grade and she is currently a third grade teacher.

 Her teaching philosophy evolved from her educational background. As she reflected on her experience as a student and now as a teacher, she believes every student regardless of his or her economic circumstance has something to contribute to their education.

 Mrs Jackson believes essentially as a teacher her role is to be a facilitator in the classroom.  She also believes when supportive teachers allow students to express themselves, accept others and themselves for who they are, plus provide a stimulating, safe environment where students can grow emotionally and socially, then the world is theirs.

 As a teacher, she believes it’s important to have high expectations and provide students with good choices to help them develop to their fullest potential.

 It is her desire and goal to help foster the academic learning process of her students with curriculum that is relevant to their experiences.

 Her personal teaching style is making sure she is an active participant in whatever path she needs to take to meet her students where they are at. Using instructional strategies, she makes everything relevant which includes hands on activities to get their attention.  She let her students  know daily how important they are to her, not just because she is their teacher but she wants them to have good self-esteem so they can concentrate on learning. Her number one goal is to show her students that anyone can learn.