Featured Teacher:
Patti Desmarais

November 30th, 2018



Each month we share the stories of dynamic educators who are using MasteryConnect in innovative ways to help students be their best! Follow along with our Featured Teacher series and get to know other teachers in the MC community.

Meet Patti Desmarais, she has spent her entire teaching career of 34 years at Acton Elementary School in Texas and feels that every year brings a new, exciting challenge. She decided she wanted to be a teacher in 4th grade and has never looked back! Learn more about what keeps her excited about teaching there.


What grades have you taught?
Grades 1, 2, 3 and a multi 1-2 looping with them to 2-3

What is your favorite activity outside of the classroom?

How do you avoid burnout?
I walk most days and do a workout every morning to start my day.

What keeps you excited about teaching?
Learning new things. A few years ago, I took a Methods Reading course (which I should have taken years ago) and learned so much. Last summer, I took a Methods Math course in response to the very low test scores. It was amazing to see how much things have changed. I am so much more energized and excited about math now. And seeing the faces of my students when they “get it” is priceless!

Why did you start teaching?
I decided to be a teacher when I was in 4th grade and never changed my mind. I guess it was the influence of teachers that I had.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Don’t overthink things. You know your students, trust yourself.

If you could choose a “walk-on song” to be played every morning, what would it be?
I’m not sure. Not very good with the names of songs. I just know that I sing my way to work every morning…alone…in my car…loudly.

What is your favorite book on education?
The text book from my Methods math class. I keep it handy all the time. Of course, it’s at work right now and I don’t have the name of it.

What advice would you give a first-year teacher?
Don’t let people tell you it’s not worth the hard work because you won’t make any money. There is so much rewarding about this work. One former principal put it into perspective, sort of. He told me to hang in there because it was only 180 days a year. Of course, it’s much more than that. It’s hard work, but good work.

If you weren’t a teacher, what kind of career would you have?
I would work in a plant nursery.

What has been the most memorable moment in your teaching career so far?
Looking at my students when everything clicks. And having a former student call me and tell me that she was writing a book because I told her that journaling would help her to keep her feelings in perspective.

Tell us one of your goals for this year.
My biggest goal is to help my students understand math and find a way to help it make sense to them.

What is your favorite MC Feature?
I really like being able to author my own items.

What is one thing you want students to take away when they leave your classroom at the end of the year?
Learning is a lifelong skill. Don’t ever stop – I don’t.

What is your dream vacation?
A warm beach for a week with no laundry to do or house cleaning.

Anything else you want to add about yourself?
I have been at the same school for 34 years now. My sister once asked me how I could do that. I told her that every year I get a new set of students and a new challenge. I love what I do even when I get tired and don’t want to bring it home every night.

Check back often to meet other amazing educators in the MasteryConnect community!

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