Meet Jessica Byrd: Dallasite and TTUISD Teacher

by CAITLIN HOGGE

February 20, 2014

Jessica Byrd is a Texas Tech University Independent School District (TTUISD) instructor and the author and instructor of the new TTUISD Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament course. She currently lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex with her husband, Jason, who is a biology teacher and also an astronomy instructor at TTUISD. They are the proud parents to a six-month-old son named Samuel and a six-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever named Gracie. Jessica grew up in Texas and attended Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, for her bachelor’s degree in education. She just completed her master’s degree at the University of North Texas. Before joining TTUISD, she taught freshmen and sophomore English in public schools for a few years. Jessica is now a stay-at-home mom and is excited to continue working with TTUISD and her new students.

Q: What brought you to teaching at TTUISD?

A: My teaching position at TTUISD has been such a blessing. It has given me the opportunity to continue to do what I love (teaching) and also stay home with my new son. It was all rather unexpected. I spoke with Sam Oswald, TTUISD executive director, at a friend’s wedding, and he mentioned the need for teachers. I told him I was very interested, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Q: What is your favorite part about teaching?

A: Without a doubt my favorite part of teaching is the relationships I build with the students. They teach me new things every day, probably more than I will ever teach them.

Q: How is teaching at TTUISD different than other teaching settings? What do you like about teaching with TTUISD?

A: TTUISD is different than a typical school classroom in that it is centered on distance learning. I like this and think it’s beneficial for students since our society has become so global and media based. This prepares students to be successful in a 21st century society.

Q: Why did you want to become a teacher?

A: I think I was born a teacher. I remember as a little girl lining up stuffed animals in my bedroom and teaching them the alphabet with my little chalkboard. My mother is a teacher, and I also saw the benefits of this through her. Because of her, I was not blind to some of the challenges going into the profession either.

Q: What is your favorite subject to teach?

A: In my career I have only taught English. However, I am very excited to begin instructing the Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament course. This is a curriculum that I helped design, so I feel more personally connected.

Q: Tell us about an influential teacher in your life.

A: My World History and AP US History teacher Jim Sternadel was without a doubt the best teacher I have ever encountered. Some probably considered him “old school” because his class consisted of mainly lecture, but his passion for the subject oozed out him daily. You knew as a student that he loved what he did and he cared about you. This made him a great teacher.

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