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Jackie Fowler





Center Grove High School 


12 Years Teaching 

What teaching means to me.......

To me, teaching is important because we are building a foundation for students to stand on their own.  Grade-after-grade teachers work together as a community to help the students build up the foundation from which they can stand for themselves. We oversee the construction of the foundations by building relationships, accepting students for who they are, and seeing their true potential.

When posed this question, I thought about going in several directions without sounding too cliche. How do I say something new and go beyond what all teachers are trying to encompass in their own philosophy? I kept coming back to my own personal experience from being a student to now a teacher.

I am an art teacher and artist.  I am a photography teacher and a photographer.  I would not be able to say those statements if it was not for one teacher noticing me in high school.  I was a good student, but I was quietly trying to get by in high school without being noticed.  Mr. Roach noticed me. Even more, he saw me.  He pushed me.  He believed in me even more than I believed in myself.  He was my photography teacher sophomore year and because of him, my life and confidence in myself changed.  After working with Mr. Roach for three years, I told him when I graduated that I would return to take his job when he retired.  Eight years later, I returned to Center Grove High School to teach photography like I promised Mr. Roach.  I am blessed to be to in room 272 for the last 12 years and help my kids see themselves. 

Little did I know that I would still be learning in that classroom.  I am a teacher but every day I learn from my kids (students).  Some of my students have shown great courage while battling intense life events all the while maintaining a level head and successfully making it through high school.  I have had students overcome physical or emotional barriers that would stop most adults.  Teenagers are beautiful and resilient beings and I am still learning from them to be a better adult. 

We must build up our students and help them rise.  Rise to places they did not know was possible and become their best self.  Not all students are going to fit the same mold nor will they go on to pursue your subject matter beyond high school.  However, rigor within our education means we will help provide the tools but they are going to construct their own foundation to grow upon.  Mr. Roach would proud to know that his work continues to live on and will continue to pass on to another generation through my students.