Stillwater’s Hope Shepard – Teacher of the Month Presented By Simmons Bank

By Derrick Smith

Teaching is a job that can be very rewarding at times. It is about more than just teaching a certain subject or subjects, it is also about investing in the lives of the students. Stillwater’s Hope Shepard says that seeing kids discover their future is the best part of the job.

“I love getting to know the students and watching them learn,” she said. “It is great to watch them figure out who they are going to be and what kind of impact they are going to make on this world.”

Shepard is in her fifth year at Stillwater, where she teaches Honors English for sophomores. When she is not teaching, Hope enjoys spending time with her two foster children. She is also active in her church.

The approach that Shepard takes with teaching is a lot of what she learned from some of her teachers when she was growing up. “I had the most amazing teachers, and I learned how to love, challenge, and instruct students from watching them. My mentor teacher also told me when I was student-teaching that my first job as a teacher was to create the culture of the classroom that I want, and I think that is so important.”

Hope had the opportunity to give an Ed Talk and discuss why she decided to enter the teaching profession and what she enjoys most about it. In the video, which can be found on YouTube, Shepard discusses how she became the teacher she is today. She says she took a little bit from each teacher that impacted her and it helped her to be the teacher she wanted to be.

“When I am at work, and I am busy, tired, or overwhelmed, I pause and remind myself that my job as an educator is to make sure that the students in my building know that they have someone on their side. They have someone that believes in them, cheers for them, and is in their corner. And I can do this because of all the teachers that I looked up to.”