Posted Date: 10/21/2020
Thompson named Beauregard Parish and EBE Elementary Teacher of the Year and a Louisiana Excellent Educators Semi-Finalist
“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” This Ignacio
Estrada quote informs how Cassie Thompson, third grade teacher at East Beauregard Elementary, approaches education.
Thompson is passionate about engaging to meet each student’s preferred ways of learning, interests, and readiness.
Differentiated instruction allows for the growth and success of each student by assuming that each student can be successful.
“I believe that creating relationships with my students and their parents is essential to student growth,” Thompson said. “Once I form a relationship with my students and know their backgrounds, it helps me to help them succeed.”
Thompson’s classroom learning environment promotes fun, growth, and a sense of family.
Thompson uses positive behavior reinforcement in her classroom providing incentives for students who follow directions, act responsibly, work well with classmates, and follow the rules. The PBIS program works well with her philosophy of starting each day with a positive attitude and developing
positive relationships with her students.
She believes that engaging the student in the learning process makes all the difference. She uses manipulatives, encourages interaction, and helps students learn from their successes and their mistakes.
It is not unusual to see her students using hula hoops, marker boards, a microphone ball, and other interactive learning devices as they practice multiplication, division, and all the new math concepts introduced in third grade.
“This year has been particularly difficult because the students cannot interact with each other or with manipulatives in the same way as in the past,” she explained. “I am constantly looking for new and creative ways to make math fun so that it capture’s my students’ interest. Finding those activities this year has been a challenge.”
Thompson has been a classroom teacher for eleven years, serving nine years in Beauregard Parish. Her career began in Allen Parish as a third grade teacher. She taught special education for five years. She currently teaches third grade math and spelling.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from McNeese State University and her Certification in Special Education, Mild to Moderate 1-5, from the University of Phoenix. She is currently taking courses to become a mentor teacher.
Her advice to new educators is to get to know the students and develop a relationship with them. She sees this interaction as the key to success for both the student and the teacher. She also would tell them not to stress too much. Each day is a new day.
“Just have fun with teaching and learning,” she states.
She has been involved with many activities at the school including on the Elementary Yearbook Staff, the PBIS Committee, the Parent Involvement Committee, and the School Safety committee.
“I teach because I love my students,” said Thompson. “Watching them grown and learn each day is what makes education fun. You never know what a day will look like. Education is definitely not boring, ever!”
Thompson is the 2020-2021 Beauregard Parish Elementary Teacher of the Year and a Louisiana Excellent Educators semi-finalist. She is one of the top eight elementary teachers in the state recognized for this honor.