Jackie Lester, ESL teacher at Douglas, was recently named the school’s Teacher of the Year. Read on to get to know a little bit more about Jackie, and be sure to congratulate her if you see her on your next visit to campus!
How long have you been at Douglas? Have you taught ESL the whole time?
This is my fifth year at Douglas. I started my career teaching “English as a Foreign Language” in Chile, my native country. Then I taught Spanish in Wilson County for about three years. After finishing my master’s degree in ESL and Educational Supervision, I moved to Raleigh. At the same time, I found an ESL position in a school in Wake County. I have been in Wake County for about nine years.
What made you decide to become a teacher?
Since I was a little girl, I always taught my friends what I have learned at school. Also, I always liked languages. So, one of my teachers in high school suggested I could explore my options in education. I took this path and I have never looked back.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love working with students. I learn as much from them as they learn from me. I enjoy seeing their faces light up when they understand something or when they can express themselves in English. It is really amazing!
What is the most challenging thing about being a teacher?
I have never thought about what I do as a “job.” I truly enjoy coming to school every day, talking to my colleagues, students and parents. Of course, we face challenges every day, not only at school but also personally. However, if I think about what I do for just a minute, I realize I have the best job in the world. I get to teach and guide children in the most important stage of their lives and that makes me happy!
How does it feel to win this well-deserved recognition?
I feel so proud to be part of the Douglas staff. I am very lucky to work with a wonderful administration, teachers and instructional assistants. To me, this is the “cherry on the cake” and I am truly honored to have been chosen Teacher of the Year!