Elementary Science Teacher Award Spotlight: Gretchen Campbell

School: Southmayd ES

Years Teaching: 31 years

One of the things that makes Ms. Campbell’s fifth grade science class so unique is the fact that most of her students come from a low socioeconomic area of Houston and face many different kinds of challenges. A very large percentage of her students are two or more reading grade levels behind and the majority of her students speak English as their second language. Therefore, she knows she has a monumental challenge each school day to meet her students at their level, but she works hard to make sure that they are catching up and getting ready to enter middle school.

Fun Fact: Ms. Campbell has taught every grade in elementary school!

She believes that students are curious by nature, which helps teachers promote science and spark their interest in STEM. She enjoys providing her students with investigations and experiments during class so her students can collaborate and find their answers together and that way they will continue to stay engaged and interested in more science topics.

Ms. Campbell’s advice for her fellow educators is to keep doing what you are doing! The world needs more teachers to lead our future generations.  She also says that although this profession sometimes does not receive as much praise or the accolades it deserves, it is important to remember that teachers are making a huge difference in so many aspects of their students’ lives. Lastly, she mentions that teachers should cherish those special moments when their former students come back to tell them how much they enjoyed their class and when they share all the wonderful things that they are doing now.

Ms. Campbell is one of the six Houston Independent School District (HISD) teacher finalists of the 2020 alliantgroup HISD Elementary Science Teacher Award! This award was created to reward local teachers who, through innovative lesson plans that emphasize both the importance and fun aspects of science, are increasing student achievement and engagement.

Five of the finalists will receive a cash prize of $1,300 and $500 for their classroom and the grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $3,500 and $500 to put toward improving their classroom! Good luck!