Teacher Beth Mouton: ‘I am here to love them and love them well’

Published 5:00 am Friday, May 24, 2024

In Beth Mouton’s, 48, classroom, love is the most important element.

It is her job to provide students with a good education, but that task requires a foundation of warmth and affection.

“I am here to love them and to love them well,” she explained. “A child will not learn anything if they don’t know how much they are loved and valued!”

Email newsletter signup

This is a practice afforded to her when she was in grade school. She had a great time as a student, and would often go home to play teacher, imitating the educators who became role models.

“I had several teachers throughout my life that I will never forget.”

A Sulphur native, Mouton graduated from Sulphur High School in 1994. In 2001, she completed her Bachelor of Arts in elementary education. She also holds a K through 12 mild/moderate add-on for special education.

In her 23 years as an educator, Mouton has brought her skillset to several subjects at several campuses in Calcasieu Parish. She started at Maplewood Middle School as a seventh-grade science teacher. Her next school was J.J. Johnson Elementary, where she taught second and third grade. She went back to teaching middle school at Vinton Middle School as a sixth-grade ELA and school resource teacher. She was also a resource teacher at LeBlanc Middle School.

She has happily settled down at Our Lady’s Catholic School in Sulphur. There, she has taught middle school ELA, third grade and, currently, first grade.

First grade is the most rewarding grade, she said. It is a critical year in the students’ development, and Mouton gets to witness each milestone.

“They grow so much over the course of the year! I love to see their little eyes light up and hear their sweet laughs.”

For Mouton, teaching is a spiritual vocation that surpasses just a job.

“Education is not just my career.  Teaching these babies is such a big part of who I am.  This is what God called me to do.”

Throughout the year, she and her students become a family. This is the best part of the job because that connection allows her to teach them more than just the curriculum.

Not only do I teach them to write and all the other things, but I get to help them learn about their faith and what God wants for them,” she said. “My top priority is to help them know that God loves them.”

She noted that they spend more time together in the classroom than they do at home.

“We depend on each other. They know that I am here for them every minute. They bring so much joy to my heart.”

If she were to give her peers a piece of advice, she would tell them to remain flexible and supportive.

“What your students need changes daily, sometimes hourly. Be willing to adapt to what they need. Most of all, be sure they know you are their biggest fan.”