Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
Sandy Springs, GA
Bio/Overview: Dawkins-Jackson teaches first grade and serves as grade level chair at Dunwoody Springs Elementary School. In middle and high school, Dawkins-Jackson had an intense interest in engineering, but felt that empowering children through education would be far more rewarding, even though she was discouraged from choosing a career in education. Impacted by the energy, passion, and creativity of numerous teachers, she strives to honor their commitment to her education by fostering a nurturing community of learners in her own class. Understanding the importance of helping each child reach his or her full potential, her approach to teaching includes choice, capitalizing upon students’ interests, higher level thinking, exploration, and discovery. Dawkins-Jackson has utilized both her strong talent and gift for educating children to invigorate her school, classroom, and colleagues to impact student achievement.
Educational Philosophy: Dawkins-Jackson believes that the greatest reward is having the ability to teach and learn by example and influence. Dawkins-Jackson wholeheartedly believes that if you ingrain the belief that you can do anything into an impressionable young mind that the return will be invaluable. She demonstrates her belief that learning is a reciprocal process and a shared experience. She desires for her students to know that she values their capacity to teach her as much as she teaches them. As an educator, Dawkins-Jackson models embracing mistakes and creating a climate where risks are celebrated. Adopting the attitude that optimal success is possible for all children no matter what circumstances surround them is crucial to life-long learning; that is why Dawkins-Jackson works relentlessly to provide meaningful experiences for her students.
Achievements: Dawkins-Jackson was a four time nominee for Teacher of the Year before her colleagues bestowed the honor upon her in 2012. She initiated several programs by securing grants and spoke with Members of Congress for the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) Hill Day 2012. After her second year of teaching, Dawkins-Jackson successfully reformed the Teacher Induction program at her local school, which served as a model for other school districts.
Leadership Experience: Dawkins-Jackson is a national facilitator for the School Reform Initiative, specializing in developing professional learning communities. She is also a reading advisor and presenter for BrainPOP. Her presentation experience began in 2001 while completing her undergraduate work. Dawkins-Jackson has presented at 7 national, 2 regional, and 9 local conferences on such topics as professional learning communities, professional development, action research, educational technologies, and teacher preparation. Currently, she serves in various leadership capacities including grade level manager, site coordinator for her school’s partnership with Georgia State University, and member of local and collegiate advisory boards.
Affiliations: Pi Lambda Theta International Honors Society for Educators, Learning Forward, National Association for Gifted Children, National Science Teachers Association, National Association of Professional Development Schools, National Parent and Teacher Association
Education: Dawkins-Jackson received a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Central Florida. She went on to receive a Master of Education, also at the University of Central Florida, in Early Childhood Education with specializations in Home-School-Community and Educational Leadership. While completing her post graduate studies, Dawkins-Jackson earned her Florida Childcare Center Director credentials. She holds Teacher Support Specialist and Gifted Endorsements. Dawkins-Jackson has aspirations of pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies.
Areas of Interest/Expertise:
- Charter Schools
- Professional Learning Communities
- Professional Development
- Educational Technology
- University and P-12 School Partnerships
- Gifted Education