TEACHER OF THE MONTH — Bob Hope educator carries on mother’s work with children; see the video

Published 12:40 am Wednesday, March 1, 2023

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Jennifer Patterson always knew she wanted to be a teacher. But that decision was further validated recently by one of her students.

The student’s mother had called Patterson and said the child was struggling with reading, and all attempts to help her at home seemed ineffective. As a unit, the two women worked to help the Bob Hope Elementary School child in the area she needed most.

Approximately one month ago, the child entered the classroom with a book and asked if she could read it. Her classmates were quiet as she read fluently from cover to cover.

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“Those are the moments to look forward to as a teacher,” said Patterson, who teaches first and second grade at the school. “The self-confidence they get in themselves — it’s life-changing.”

Patterson, who is originally from Beaumont, was awarded Tuesday with Teacher of the Month, sponsored by Philpott Motors. The designation comes with a $500 gift card.

Representatives with The Port Arthur News and Philpott Motors General Manager Darin Granger entered her classroom to surprise her with the news.

Granger thanked her for her work as an educator and her dedication to her students.

Patterson began her career at a Montessori school in the Houston area, where she taught for 10 years before moving to Bob Hope Schools five years ago.

Philpott Motors General Manager Darin Granger presents Jennifer Patterson with a $500 gift card for being selected Teacher of the Month. (Monique Batson/The News)

She decided at a young age that she wanted to be an educator after watching her mother teach fifth grade in the Beaumont Independent School District. Her more did so for 25 years.

“Her passion and dedication for her students — she always went above and beyond for her kids,” Patterson said. “The connection she had with kids was really amazing to watch.”

The extra special moments, she said, were when the two would be out shopping and former students would come up to her mother to hug and thank her.

“It was something I wanted for myself, to be able to give back to the community and to children,” she said.

And she knew she wanted to work with younger students who are just beginning school to help lay down the foundation of how they continue to learn in life.

“I think probably my favorite activities are the hands-on activities,” she said. “It develops that creativity within them and they can utilize their critical thinking skills.”

Philpott Motors General Manager Darin Granger is pictured with Bob Hope Elementary School teacher Jennifer Patterson. (Monique Batson/The News)