Duncanville Teacher Has Been Teaching Online for a Year

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Jouet Daniels
Duncanville teacher Jouet Daniels talks to her students online. Courtesy of Duncanville ISD

Jouet Daniels Is Ahead Of The Curve

Preparation is one of the key parts in the life of a teacher. The best teachers, like the best students, are the ones who think ahead and come to the classroom prepared – even if the classroom is virtual.

In Duncanville, teacher Jouet Daniels was working virtually with her students long before anyone in the United States had heard of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. She had no idea the pandemic blanketing the world was coming, but she was already prepared for instructing online.

Last year, to help her students in preparation to take the standardized State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) Test, the seventh-grade English teacher began hosting study sessions on the Zoom video conferencing application. Daniels teaches at The STEAM Academy at Kennemer Middle School and helps sixth-graders preparing for her class.

Students have highest scores in the district

Her students responded with a passing rate of 88 percent and 30 percent mastery. They were the highest scores for sixth-graders in the entire Duncanville School District.

“It has helped with their progress, especially for students who need tutorials,” Daniels said. “It has increased their confidence and helps to reinforce skills we have gone over in class.”

Daniels expanded her online sessions this year to include evening and weekend tutoring for students who need extra help with class work.

And now comes yet another expansion. While the education world is scrambling to transition to online learning in response to COVID-19, Daniels had already established her virtual presence.

Her students and their parents know how to reach her, just as they have known for some time.

“I want my kids to still be diligent and understand that just because we’re having these difficulties now, we should stay engaged and get the education we need,” Daniels said.

“Not only is Ms. Daniels providing classroom instruction to students, she’s also building connections by showing students how much she cares,” Duncanville School District Superintendent Marc Smith said. “While our families are being isolated at home, those connections matter more than ever.

“There is no replacement for knowing that someone cares about you and your future,” he said. “Virtual learning and teaching provides teachers with a way to achieve that goal outside of a traditional classroom setting.”

Foresight proves advantageous

But then, Daniels has prided herself on not being traditional. And now that non-traditional has become the norm in school districts everywhere, her foresight was not only ahead of its time, but advantageous to students fortunate enough to be under her tutelage.

Daniels said the uncertainty of not knowing what’s next can be uncomfortable. However, with the right attitude, online learning can provide students with invaluable experience. After all, some of the best education in life comes from stepping outside the ordinary, and that’s something Daniels was doing long before now.

“This is college and career readiness at its finest,” Daniels said. “To be able to go to school online and speak with your instructor, this is preparing them for life.”

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Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and two granddaughters