WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A third-grade teacher at Ben Milam Elementary School got a big surprise from the WFISD Foundation while teaching this morning.
Foundation members presented Jessica Whitman with the Dorothy Huffman Award, which recognizes third-grade teachers in the WFISD.
The award was created in 2008 in memory of Huffman, who spent her nearly forty-year career with the WFISD as a third-grade teacher.
Every year the school district recognizes a teacher and the work they put in to teach this grade level and
School Principal Gena Ayers didn’t think twice when nominating Whitman because of the heart she has for this profession.
“She’s just an amazing teacher, she loves on kids, she doesn’t let them fail and it’s just a really awesome environment in her classroom,” Ayers said.
While Whitman is grateful to receive such an honor from the district, she says teaching her students and being a part of their lives is the real honor of her life.
“They’re my kids, you know some of them I get to spend more time with them than their family because they’re working. So it’s a privilege to have them, you know when I talk about them there are my family and friends that. Are we talking about your kids or your school kids? So they know, you know, we’re just family,” Whitman said.
The bond she shares with her students helps her to teach them more than just typical school subjects, but how to overcome difficulty and grow from it.
“I just love watching their little light bulb come on, it’s very challenging things that we ask them to do and especially, you know, at these times they may have some gaps so filling those gaps and helping them you know feel good about where they’re at and growing,” Whitman said.
This is growth Whitman hopes will make an impact for years to come.
The Dorothy Huffman award includes a thousand-dollar check for Whitman also through the WFISD foundation to use for her classroom.
She says she would love to take her students on a field trip or buy educational games that the kids are sure to enjoy.