New Employee Profile: Gabrielle Bennett

This is one in a series of Q&A’s with employees new to Denair Unified in 2022-23.

Family: My family is spread out all over the U.S. 

School: Denair Middle School

Subject taught: English

Experience and education: I graduated from Stanislaus State University in 2021 with a BA in English. I am entering my final postgraduate semester at Stanislaus State. Before being hired by Denair Middle School, I worked as a substitute teacher for Stanislaus County Office of Education, Merced County Office of Education and Modesto City Schools. I have had prior experience assisting students with special needs as well.

What attracted you to Denair? The goals and beliefs of DMS align with my core values and student-centered teaching style. It felt like a perfect fit. 

What most inspires you about teaching? The thing that inspires me the most about teaching is the knowledge that I have the ability to make a lasting difference in my student’s lives. 

What is a challenge you look forward to tackling this year? Online schooling has caused a lot of students to fall behind. This year I want to catch students up and fill the gaps. 

What is your favorite teaching tool or activity? The best activities are student-led and meaningful. If I had to choose something specific, my favorite activities would be creative writing and journaling. It’s important to me that my students can have their own voice and feel heard. I believe that writing is a great outlet for emotions and self-expression. 

What do you want your students to remember?  I want students to remember to hold onto their creativity and curiosity even as they get older. 

How can parents support what you do? Please don’t hesitate to contact me. I will reach out to you within the first two weeks and I am more than happy to keep an open line of communication. You know your child better than anyone else. Let me know what your child needs and what works for them. I want to work with you to give your child what they need to succeed. 

What would surprise people about your job? Believe it or not, I have had a lot of people express sympathy when I tell them I’m a middle school teacher! They’re often surprised to hear that I really enjoy working with this age group. There isn’t anything else I’d rather be doing! 

What do you do for fun? I do a lot! Some things I enjoy are reading, writing, all sorts of crafts, making music, filming, traveling, hiking, visiting museums, spending time with my pets, cooking, going to the movies, scouring second-hand shops and collecting all sorts of things. 

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