By: Jasmine Infante

Breakthrough Houston Teaching Fellow, SJS Summer 2021

Breakthrough Houston has revealed to me the “behind the scenes” of a teacher’s life. I am a recent college graduate. I had been in school for 12+ years of my life, I respected my teachers; yet never had I known the true work they put in behind the scenes.

When I was applying to colleges, one of my essays was about a handful of teachers that shaped me into the person I am today. Given the topic of my essay, you must think I wanted to be a teacher, but I actually majored in communication and marketing. 

Because of my teachers, I knew I wanted to do something with writing, thus fueling my interest in communication. Then, throughout my college career, I enjoyed teaching my classmates in the subjects I excelled in, which is why I applied to Breakthrough Houston – to take my newfound interest in teaching others to a new level.

We are only 3 weeks in, and I have already grown alongside my students – the ultimate goal for any educator. (#growthmindset)

I did not know what to expect, but I came to Breakthrough with the hopes of finding out whether teaching was the career for me. To be honest, I still have no idea. What I do know is that I enjoy seeing students experience a lightbulb moment, I enjoy hearing students exclaim “Hey, Ms. Jasmine!” or “See you on Monday, Ms. Jasmine!”. Most importantly, I enjoy witnessing the confidence grow in every single one of my students.

Sure, the behind the scenes are hard. Harder than I ever imagined. There are late nights creating engaging PowerPoints, trying to figure out how to incorporate activities, learning how to reach different students with their different personalities, and even changing the lesson on the spot when I realize students need a review. 

Yet, the behind the scenes are also inspiring. When I get a smiley face comment in Google classroom when a student understands the assignment, or when a student approaches me with a piece of writing they did for fun and they want MY opinion(!!), or even when overhearing a student say my class activity made them laugh — all of this brings me so much joy.

If I were still writing entrance essays for college, the students at Breakthrough Houston would be on my list of people who shaped me into who I am today. Yes, my teachers impacted me, but now I have students who have impacted me as well. I am more creative, more patient, more resilient, and more open minded because of them. I only hope to impact them just as much as they have impacted me already. 

Preparing effective, skilled teachers is a defining strategy in Breakthrough Houston’s approach to closing the opportunity gap. Support this and  critically needed student programs by:

Houston students need our support more than ever before. We are grateful for your partnerships in bringing skilled teachers, equitable educational opportunities and life-changing results to our under-resourced students.