Texas Tech University

Even at a Distance, TTU K-12 Teacher Emphasizes Individual Relationships with Students

By Leslie Cranford, Section Manager

Jeanye Wester looks forward while smiling and standing in front of a dark-gray background and wearing earrings, a pearl necklace, and a black and white shirt.

Jeanye Wester

Jeanye Wester looks forward while smiling and standing in front of a dark-gray background and wearing earrings, a pearl necklace, and a black and white shirt.

Jeanye Wester

Jeanye Wester knew a change was coming. She had been teaching in traditional schools for decades but felt that online learning was going to become a larger part of the education landscape.

"Years before my retirement, I strived to learn the changing technology," she said. "I had dreams and aspirations of online teaching."

And in a blink, Wester has been teaching with TTU K-12 for seven years, a small part of her 32 years in classrooms, face to face and online. She retired from Frenship Independent School District in 2012.

Wester is versatile for TTU K-12, teaching Child Development, Lifetime Nutrition and Wellness, Culinary Arts I and II, and Interpersonal Studies; she also has background teaching English.

And while she thinks developing relationships and continuous learning are the most rewarding part of being an educator, she also believes getting to know the students personally is the most difficult part of teaching online.
"With online learning it is more difficult to get to know students' learning styles on an individual basis. I strive to include a variety of assignments and course materials to make sure every student has an opportunity to learn in a way that is best for them," Wester says. "One student may welcome specific interaction with the instructor and others appreciate limited feedback and communication. This concerns me, I want to do my best for each student."

Whether face to face or at a distance, Wester's teaching style is driven by her beliefs and philosophy of student success.

"I believe that the way one learns is determined through the teacher and the teaching environment provided to the student," Wester said. "The factors that guide my teaching are time encouragement, approachability, comfort, helping, NO negativity, goals and involvement."

And as to advice she would give her students, she turned to quotations from others to explain it best:

  • Success is always a process, never an event. Failure is always an event, never a person. -Manolis Votsis
  • Failure is not a red F, it is the "First Attempt in Learning" -Dean Mantz

Aside from her teaching commitment, Wester spends time with her grandchildren and caring for her pets, which she fosters for animal welfare rescue organizations. She also enjoys reading, learning, culinary arts and cooking, and watching all levels of football ("Go, Red Raiders!").

Thanks to Jeanye Wester for her talents as an educator and for choosing to use her skills and experience for TTU K-12.

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