Why? Series – Mrs. Jette

I’m going to be starting a new series – rather, I’m going to start showing you the series I’ve been working on for the last several months. As you probably gathered from the title above, this series is about people’s “why”. It’s a peek inside people’s mindset & motivation, a glance at what fuels them, what drives their dedication to whatever it is that they give their time to.

I find it so amazing to hear first hand people’s stories: why they made the decisions they did, why their passions became their passions, and why they chose the career they chose. With this series, you’re along for the ride. I recorded each conversation and transcribed them into the paragraphs you’re invited to read. The only editing I did was to remove myself and make the minimal grammatical alterations necessary to translate spoken words into written words.

Allow me to introduce you to Mrs. Jette, a local first grade teacher. She’s been teaching for quite a while, and after spending time in her classroom I can attest to the fact that she’s amazing.

(In these pictures, you’ll notice the kids look older than first graders, and they are. Every morning, Mrs. Jette is flooded with past students who come to say hello and tell her their latest important news.)


Why do you…teach 1st grade?



“I’ve been teaching for 37 years. My dad was principal & my mom was a teacher. I remember being at home every night and they’d be bringing work home. My dad was coaching and teaching history. I was always at school activities. I went into college and was an education major as a freshman and never looked back.



I love all the individualities that the kids bring. They come down the hallway – it’s a long hallway – and they do everything they can not to run. But they just sparkle. Their eyes are just glowing, and they’re so excited to come to school. And it’s because they want to learn and they want to be in the classroom.

I feel like I have a big job to do. I’m going to have them for six hours and I get to mold them, help them feel safe, and loved. And I get to teach them. I always think about the fact that the parents have their kids gone 5 days a week. Sometimes I see the kids more than the parents do and I feel like that’s a huge responsibility that I take very seriously. I had children that went to school and I was hoping they were taken care of and taught and laughed with and if they got hurt someone could help them. I was hoping they’d feel needed and loved. I just love that feeling every time they’re walking down the hall and I’m thinking “I’m so glad you’re here!”  I still get choked up about it.  It’s quite a job. That’s why I still do it. They’re so fresh. They just want to learn.”

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