Point Loma High alumna named Teacher of the Year
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 10/19/21 - 03:00 PM | 4100 views | 7 7 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jacquelyn Jourdane
Jacquelyn Jourdane
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OB resident Jacquelyn Jourdane, one of five Teachers of the Year honored recently by the San Diego County Office of Education, credits her parent’s influence for her success as a second-grade instructor at San Altos Elementary School in Lemon Grove School District.

“My greatest accomplishment is being able to draw from my own experiences learning from my Latina mother and disabled father to incorporate equity and empathy into learning,” said Jourdane, who characterized her award as “very unexpected, especially concerning this last year of distance learning.”

Noted Jourdane: “Empathy is integrated into our lessons by having difficult conversations about inequities during our lesson and circles in morning meetings. Students are better to one another because they have learned to share their feelings and interact with one another in an empathetic and caring manner.” 

Teaching all subjects to her 7- and 8-year-old students, Jourdane said her philosophy on teaching is simple. “Teaching needs to be enjoyable,” she said. “Kids need to be able to find joy in what they are learning about.”

And making education fun begins with the instructor.

“You need to make it exciting, engaging,” Jourdane said discussing her teaching method. “We have authentic conversations about what’s happening around the world. I teach my students to be community leaders. I teach them that they have a voice, that they can be impactful and important. And then, again, just make it fun.”

Being of mixed ethnicity, having grown up around teachers, and having a disabled father, all shaped Jourdane’s views and inspired her to become a teacher. Drawing from her personal experiences, she teaches students the values of equity, discipline, empathy, determination, and compassion at a young age so students can get ahead in life and use their knowledge to make people’s lives better.

As a former Cesar Chavez service clubs coordinator, the teacher of 10 years encourages her students and their families to volunteer and take care of their communities. She’s brought that spirit onto her school campus, where she has replaced faded bulletin boards with information about social and emotional learning, COVID-19 safety, and reading. She has also partnered with the Anti-Defamation League to implement the No Place for Hate program on her school’s campus.

Jourdane grew up in Point Loma and went to public schools there including Point Loma High School. “I had some of the very best teachers, and I want to give that to other students who might not have had that same experience,” she confided.

The award-winning school teacher noted that “staying close to the beach is just part of who I am.”

She added: “Diversity is actually what gives it its character. I love going to the farmers market and shopping locally. Spending time in OB puts life into perspective. It’s just a very eclectic place where people learn to understand each other and respect each other. Going to the beach or walking the streets or along the pier, you find people from all different walks of life. That’s what I like about it.”

The five teachers of the year received their honors Oct. 17 in an hour-long production by the San Diego County Office of Education partnering with Cox Communications, The show aired on Cox Channel 4 and will replay several times in October and November.

Those five instructors will now represent San Diego County in the California Teacher of the Year program. Those state winners will be announced next month.

Since 1974, 186 teachers have been named San Diego County Teacher of the Year. Of those, 22 were named California Teacher of the Year, and three went on to be named National Teacher of the Year.

 

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