Spotlight: From Business to Education, A Journey of an IDEA Mathematician
Meet Gabbria Parker. Gabbria is a Mathematics Pre-AP teacher at IDEA Innovation College Preparatory, one of IDEA's schools in Baton Rouge. As one of our founding teachers in Southern Louisiana, she admits that her love for education came later in life after she spent five years in business administration.
“I realized business was not the place for me because it did not bring me excitement and gratification,” Gabbria said. “I have always loved education and loved math. This is my 8th year in education and each year, each student has helped shape me into striving to become a better person.”
Explore our job openings in Southern Louisiana now, or read on to learn more about Gabbria’s experience teaching at IDEA and her goals for the future.
What do you love about working at IDEA?
When researching IDEA culture before applying, the concept of team & family was the biggest part of my interest to join the team. When IDEA speaks of team & family they are referring to administrators, teachers, faculty, students, parents and the community. I have witnessed students and families being provided with essential tools and supplies to make sure their needs were met. I have never witnessed family support at any other school.
What was challenging about your first year as a teacher that you had to overcome?
My challenge as a first year teacher that I had to overcome was how much the school system had changed since when I attended. The students were a little more relaxed than I could remember and seemed to not be 100% invested in their education. Getting the students to invest and become accountable for their education was one of my goals.
Why did you choose to pursue a career with a math focus?
I could remember HATING math at one point; however, it took one teacher in middle school to take the time to help me understand the concept of math and I have been in love with it ever since. With the patience of a caring teacher, it helped build my confidence and provided me the tools to pursue a career with a math focus.
What would you say to someone thinking about applying for an instructional role?
If someone was thinking about applying for a Math instructional role at IDEA, I would definitely tell them it is well worth it. The support and guidance you receive will make you a stronger mathematician. I have received some of the best feedback to help my professional growth and owe it all to my leadership team. The patience and support is like none other.
What is your proudest moment as a teacher?
My proudest moments as a teacher is when I see that look of surprise on a student’s faces after he/she has completed a problem correctly or understood the concept. That look of satisfaction and understanding and for them to say they now like math gives me pure joy.
What motivates you every day?
My students motivate me every day. I want them to look back as they continue life’s journey and realize how much I worked to be there for them, motivate them and help shape them into the positive adult they will one day become.
What are your professional goals for the future?
My professional goals for the future is to continue to grow with IDEA, preferably IDEA Innovation. As a founding teacher, I would love to witness and be associated as one of the contributors in the growth of this school.
What parts of the IDEA model do you feel benefit the Southern Louisiana community?
The IDEA model that I feel benefits the Southern Louisiana community is being able to help a scholar matriculate to and through college. This benefit is the structure behind team and family and how IDEA embodies this culture. The kids know they are cared about because we want to not only see them succeed one academic grade, but their entire academic journey.
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