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Success Story

Teacher Spotlight: Patti Smith, James L. Collins Catholic School

We are excited to spotlight Mrs. Smith, who was nominated for a teacher spotlight by her Impact Manager, Jorgie Marin, who shared:

“Returning Roadmap to Success teacher, Patricia Smith, teaches 7th and 8th grade in her Computers class at James L. Collins Catholic School in Corsicana, Texas. Over the past two years teaching the Roadmap to Success program, Mrs. Smith has created spaces for her students to not only engage with the content, but to apply their learning through various mediums.

Patricia Smith has been a strong supporter of Roadmap to Success since our pilot launch at James L. Collins in October of 2017. This year, Mrs. Smith has shared everything from videos and presentations created by her students to their mock resumes – always affirming students that even if they don’t have many experiences to include in their resumes yet, they can always start with the volunteer work that they’ve done. Ms. Smith engages her students in thoughtful discussions, challenging them to think about how their chosen career paths can impact the world around them. Ms. Smith has taken the program lessons and created real world extension activities that are applicable to students lives in this moment because we know that it’s never too early to start.”

Read on for our interview with Mrs. Smith!

What did you want to be when you were in middle school?

A veterinarian

Alma Mater

Texas A&M Commerce

Please share your favorite college memory.

My best memory is when the education classes began and I was so inspired by an instructor that took the time to get to know me. She realized I was struggling with confidence and she was so encouraging. I realized in that semester that teaching really was a passion that I was ready to begin.

Did you always want to teach? If not, what led you to the classroom?

I avoided the topic of teaching because so many in my family were in education. I thought I was going to be a nurse until I realized it was not for me during the health courses. I joined the business world for a while. After having children, I found my calling to return to college and become a teacher. Best decision ever!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years, I hope to still be working at JLCCS and at Navarro College. I love my school!

Why do you think it’s important for students to have access to college and career readiness programs? What skillsets have your students developed through the Roadmap to Success program?

It is so important for students to start thinking about college and their options early so they don’t waste time and money, like I did trying to decide what I wanted to be. They need to figure out what they really want to do and be in their future. There is so much information out there but this program helps them focus on themselves and gives resources to encourage exploration.

Students are exploring options for high school while still contemplating their future through Roadmap. They have connected to careers that they are interested and what they need to do to get there. This was accomplished through a slide show project they did researching their choices. They have gained confidence in their being successful in high school and college. My students have learned about preparing for interviews and creating resumes. They have a stronger foundation thanks to the Roadmap to Success program.

What is one piece of advice you would give your students about their futures?

I have a habit of giving lots of advice to my students based on my own experience and that of my two daughters. I try to relate things with real world explanations. I think the best advice is to look forward no matter what obstacles arise.

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