Teacher of the Month: First-grade teacher hopes students spread kindness

January 14, 2019

Name: Jayme Davidson, a first-grade teacher at Gibbs Elementary School.

Family: Husband, Patrick, three daughters, Kaidance (14), Madi (11) and Aubrey (8). I am also very fortunate to have all of my and my husband’s family still living in the Rochester area, which gives us the opportunity to stay close knit and enjoy a lot of family time.

Hometown: I was born and a raised here in Rochester and attended the Rochester Public Schools throughout my K-12 experience. I feel very fortunate to be a part of the district I grew up learning in, and think it is so neat to have worked with some of my past educators, too!

Best or favorite part of your day?

My favorite part of each day is “Read and Relaxation.” I love that time with the children as we head into wonderful stories and the various adventures they take us on. Seeing the children as their faces light up with excitement and wonder makes my heart smile.

What or who inspired you to become a teacher?

The person who truly inspired me to be a teacher was my mom. When I was growing up, she had an in-home daycare. I was around children my entire life. I remember her reading to the children, providing projects for them, taking them on picnics and field trips, and much more.

To this day, I’m not sure who loved whom more, her or the children. A child’s last day in our home was always a tough one for her and the families. That love for children is what I always hope my students feel from me. Every year my mom gives me the same tip on the last day of school, “don’t forget your sunglasses when it’s time to head out at the end of the day.” I guess she knows from experience that the last day is the toughest.

What is one thing you want your students to retain from their days with you?

There are many things we as educators hope children carry with them once they leave us. My biggest hope is that each child always knows how great he/she is and to share that greatness with others. I try to teach them to appreciate each person and their unique qualities,whether it be classmates, teachers, principals, friends, family members or perfect strangers in line at the store.

I hope they remember to share kindness, lend a helping hand, and share their smile. I tell them they are too wonderful to do anything but spread kindness, and they will feel that in their heart when they do.

Do you have a teaching “philosophy”? What is it?

My “teaching philosophy” is to start each year getting to know the children first and foremost. We hear so much about the importance of building connections with others, and I am a firm believer that those connections are what provide the best opportunity for learning.

I work to make sure each child knows I love and respect them for who they are. I share stories about myself with them so they really get to know my family and me. I let them see all of me, the silly side, the serious side, the side that makes lots of mistakes but keeps on trying. They love helping, and they know Mrs. Davidson needs their help!

I learn from them and thank them for all they do. There is a mutual respect, and I always hope they feel that.

The most memorable thing that’s happened in your classroom is:

While there are many memorable moments from being in the classroom, the one I will always remember and cherish happens each and every year. It’s that moment when I see those little faces all lit up as they flood the classroom each morning and greet one another and myself with smiles, stories, and a love for being back together again.

I feel very fortunate to be a part of something I love, and that is the lives of children. There are so many moments when I am in awe of them for all they know, when I am proud of them for all they accomplish, and when they truly make me smile as they share their greatness with this world. Again, I am not sure who adores whom more, them or me. I’m pretty sure I know what each of us would say, but (just like they do to solve the who goes first problem) we might have to rock, paper, scissors to settle the argument.

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