The hard work that teacher candidates do everyday does not go unnoticed. Chaille Thomas, an Early Childhood - 6th grade teacher candidate at the College of Education, University of Houston has been recognized by the Quest for Quality project as an exceptional teacher candidate. The purpose of the project is to highlight exemplary quality in university-based teacher preparation in Texas.
"It was very special to receive this my Senior year because it shows me how much I have grown and learned about being an educator," said Thomas. "All that hard work, research, and late nights is actually paying off. It felt good to see that someone else thinks I am good at what I love to do."
Thomas credits Dr. Lee Wright for creating a solid foundation to build upon. She found his courses on ethics and classroom management helped her create a safe, consistent and effective learning environment for her students. "Dr. Wright is my definition of the perfect teacher," said Thomas. "High expectations, explicit directions, professional boundaries, dedication, routines and procedures, data driven decisions, and the list goes on."
She also had high praise for Dr. Suzanne DaVanon who helped her see the power of picture storybooks in children's learning. "They can be used to teach academics as well as important life lessons," said Thomas. "She has inspired me to help my future students to become lifelong readers and learners through the use of children’s literature.
Thomas is currently working with 4th grade reading and social studies classes. Her cooperating teacher has been a great mentor with a perfect balance of constructive criticism and praise. She has learned how to teach children from a variety of backgrounds and how to accommodate their needs when necessary. Thomas's future certainly looks bright. "I hope that I can take what I have learned and the zeal I have for teaching and students and apply it in my own classroom in a few months, she said."