Elementary Science Teacher Award Spotlight: Henrietta Dixon

School: Hartsfield ES

Years Teaching: 7 years

Some creative ways that Ms. Dixon has found to spark her students’ interest in science has been through meaningful hands on activities such as outdoor scavenger hunts, group debates, labs and technology programs that allow her students to think they are playing a game but in reality, they are learning by using exciting workstations! She also mentions that it is very important for her students to know that she cares about them a lot and she will be there for them no matter what, especially because many of them come from a low socioeconomic background and they need extra support.

Fun Fact: Ms. Dixon started her career journey in exercise science, but after a few years, she realized it was no longer fulfilling. Therefore, she decided it was time for a change and became a teacher. She always had a passion for children and knew her knowledge in science could be utilized better in a classroom setting. Now she feels fulfilled and loves seeing her students blossom into great scholars!

Ms. Dixon says that her motivation comes from her African parents and the values they instilled in her growing up. She was taught that higher education was the gateway to a better life, a tool for helping others and an instrument to guide herself and others. She also mentions that her inspiration comes from her family, friends, and colleagues at work. She stays motivated by reminding herself that every day; she gets a chance to make a difference in her students’ life, who one day will be leading our nation!

The main tip that Ms. Dixon has for teachers to promote a love for STEM, is to expose students to real world experiences! She believes that experiences like hands-on activities, field lessons, career day speakers, visiting museums will spark an interest in students and they will remain engaged and wanting to learn more, which will lead to better test scores.

 Ms. Dixon 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!