SAN ANTONIO — During a huge pep rally at folks middle school, KENS 5 and partner Credit Human, surprised a local Northside ISD teacher with the EXCEL Award and a $1,000 check.
Dominique Roose teaches eighth-grade history but her philosophy has always been curriculum second and kids first. It’s the same concept that influenced her childhood and inspired her to become a teacher at the same school district where she grew up.
“I knew I was going to be a teacher back in elementary,” Roose said.
Even at a young age, Dominique Roose understood that just one person, in the right place, at the right time, could impact many lives.
“The world needs good teachers,” Roose said as she reflected on her childhood. It’s because a good teacher is what she once needed.
“I was that kid in some cases growing up, I went to a lot of schools at first.”
Roose attended Northside ISD schools and here she is full circle now where she teaches eighth-grade history at Folks Middle School.
Her classroom style resembles that of her favorite childhood teacher.
“ She created a community. We were her family. She actually had us at her house to do Christmas parties and again, the curriculum came second. She was just there to make sure that we were okay,” Roose said.
Roose recalls how much she needed that type of support in her life and she wanted to pay it forward, “ I know some of these kids need that in their life and I want to be that if I can. “
Whether it’s by telling stories from the book, or showing them real life examples, Roose pushes them to practice three important skills: to see, think and wonder.
Her students say they’re always excited about her class, “She pumps us up and gets us ready for class,” one 8th grader said and another added, “How she teaches us because I struggle with history and what we're learning right now, I think I'm actually really comfortable with it. “
Roose says she wants to set them on a path where they can confidently navigate the world.
“Eighth grade is a very influential time because you're able to help them see who they can be. “
It might take time to get there, but Roose says she has all the patience and confidence in her students.
“It's not 'I don't get it.' It's 'I don't get it yet.'“
That strong belief in her students pushes them to do better and motivates them to give it their all.
Roose says it’s important to celebrate the small wins
“Oh, you didn't get the grade you want to get. But hey, you passed. That is a win. So let's celebrate that.”
And that’s one reason her students keep coming back. They want to remind her she’s that teacher who made their life better.
“I want to be able to know that I left a footprint on these kids lives and so far so good because they're coming back and that's what makes this job worth it. “