Lynette Jackson, a second-grade teacher at Winfield Scott Elementary School, is retiring after 31 years in education.
“I taught first grade for one year in Shawnee, Oklahoma and thirty years have been with USD 234 as a K-3 teacher and instructional coach,” Jackson said.
Born and raised in Fort Scott, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Education and Masters Degree in Elementary Education from Pittsburg State University.
Several factors influenced her to become a teacher.
“One was the relationships I had with my former teachers,” she said. “I have great memories of school because my teachers made school fun and exciting. They also made me feel very secure and important. Although I’ve enjoyed school throughout my lifetime, my elementary years are the most memorable to me. Therefore, I became an elementary teacher.
“In thinking about all the teachers I’ve had from elementary school through college, I must say that the great majority of them had some influence on me, one way or another. I’m reminded of how important it was to be assured at school that I had potential and skills, that I could use in life to be successful. It was very important and with gratitude, I will never forget what they did for me as I was growing up. All my educators impacted my desire to teach and I hope I have repaid the debt to my past teachers that invested in me.”
Jackson believes a teacher has a mission.
“Being a teacher means being a nurse, counselor, substitute mom or dad, cheerleader, and disciplinarian,” she said. “It is my hope that I have been all these roles for my students over the years. I am flattered when a child says to me, ‘I want to be a teacher just like you.’ Have I given that youngster the best example I could to pattern his or her life and career?”
Jackson has had the privilege to work with colleagues that were past students.
“There is no better honor than working with someone that you once taught,” she said. “To see these students, grow up and have a career in education, is overwhelming. It is my hope they enjoy their careers and have many years in education as much as I have.”
As with all professions, there have been challenges.
“Several challenges I have faced over the years have been balancing the different learning styles of students, technology in the classroom, budget constraints, office politics, and lack of time to collaborate or implement new resources,” she said. “I would urge the community to get behind our schools and become knowledgeable about the educational trends we use at USD234 and become involved with our local school board and legislation.”
Jackson said she is hoping to spend time with her family and “enjoy attending my son’s school events.”