Teacher Jacqueline Hebert: Watching students grow, be successful ‘greatest reward’
Published 5:00 am Friday, November 10, 2023
Jacqueline Hebert, 34, teaches pre-K because she wants to ensure students begin their educational journey on the right foot with positive and fruitful experiences.
“I get to lay the foundation for which other grades can build upon. I want to inspire my students to become lifelong learners and to find joy in the learning process.”
In a classroom full of 4-year-olds, Hebert wants to be a “beacon of light for all students” — the way her teachers were for her. She attended Grand Lake High School from kindergarten through 12th grade. As a student, she excelled and held respect for her teachers, but it was their “kindness and relentless support” following a personal tragedy that inspired her to enter the field of education.
Email newsletter signup
“The summer of my freshman year I lost my dad to lung cancer. The teachers at Grand Lake High School showed me so much compassion and helped me grow and develop during those dark times.”
Before graduating from Grand Lake, she was dual-enrolled at Sowela Technical Community College, where she earned 24 hours of college credit. She transferred to McNeese State University and graduated with a bachelor’s in elementary education. Currently, she is getting ready to graduate from the University of Louisiana at Monroe with her master’s in educational leadership in December and is awaiting acceptance into the doctoral program at LSUS in educational leadership with a concentration in leadership studies.
She has spread her 12 years as an educator across multiple area schools. Hebert started her career at Southwest Louisiana Charter Academy as a first-grade teacher. She also spent time teaching in the Calcasieu Parish School system as a pre-K teacher at M.J. Kaufman Elementary, and at her home school, Grand Lake, as a kindergarten and second-grade teacher.
Now, she is back at Lake Charles Charter Academy, where she has been teaching pre-K for four years. The environment in her classroom is structured to allow students to learn and have fun simultaneously.
“There is lots of laughter in my classroom, and it is my hope that I create a place where my students want to continue to come to each day.”
She makes sure her students feel “loved, seen and heard” with the goal to impact the lives of future generations in a positive way. The opportunity to directly benefit young students is why she loves being a teacher.
“I want to equip all students with the tools necessary to be successful in school and in life. No other career would allow me to do this.”
Hebert loves her students — and they are the main reason she stays motivated.
“Teaching is hard, but seeing the growth in the students is what keeps me going. I love getting to celebrate their successes and see the joy on their faces when they accomplish their goals.”
From the first day of school, she begins to build positive relationships with each student.
“I love sharing stories about my life and family, and I enjoy hearing stories about their lives. I have high expectations for all of my students, but they know that I love them and will be there to ensure they succeed.”
These relationships do not stop once they leave her classroom, she said.
“I love seeing and interacting with past students. Watching students grow and be successful is the greatest reward.”