Master Teachers: A series

The Beat has interviewed Master Teachers across the district to share their stories and introspections about their careers, including tips for teaching. Meet Master Teacher Yessica Shaw.

Yessica Shaw, a Master Teacher at Jack Lowe Sr. Elementary School, first came to Dallas ISD in 2006 when she moved from Puerto Rico. Transitioning from Puerto Rico to Dallas ISD was a significant change, but she credits the  ACE program for helping her find her  footing and a community that welcomed her with open arms. 

Shaw, who has worked as an educator for 23 years, 18 of them in Dallas ISD, says she’s fortunate to be part of the district and will be  forever grateful for the support and guidance she has received from the educators and administrators. 

What drew you to education? 

Life circumstances played a significant role in drawing me toward education. It was a series of experiences and events that ultimately led me to choose this fulfilling path. These circumstances ignited a deep passion for helping others learn and grow, and they continue to serve as a driving force behind my commitment to the field of education.

How are you creating opportunities for students?

I have been creating opportunities for elementary students by offering them a rich and diverse education, mentoring and guiding them, and removing any barriers to their future success. I try my best to empower our young learners to reach their full potential and achieve their goals.

What is your best teaching tip?

We must take the time to understand our students—their backgrounds, learning styles, interests, and unique needs. Every student is a unique individual, and acknowledging this individuality is the first step in tailoring our teaching approach. By doing so, we can create an environment where every student feels seen and heard.

What would your students be surprised to find out about you?

It often surprises my students to learn that I am a grandmother. Despite my role as their educator, I also cherish the special title of “Abuela.” This unexpected aspect of my life serves as a reminder that we all have diverse and multifaceted identities beyond our roles in the classroom. It’s a pleasant connection that sometimes brings an extra layer of understanding and relatability to our interactions.

What inspires you the most about being an educator?

What truly inspires me as an educator is the chance to educate and connect with a diverse range of students. Being able to influence and guide them on their educational journeys is a privilege I hold dear. Moreover, the role of being a positive role model is something that fills me with a profound sense of purpose. Through this, I hope to not only impart knowledge but also instill values, inspire growth, and contribute to the development of responsible and compassionate individuals who will go on to make a positive impact on the world.

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