Search form

Teacher of the Day

Name:  Debra Jacoby

School: University School of Nova Southeastern University

Subject: 5th grade reading, math and science

State:  Florida

What or who inspired you to become a teacher?

My mom was my girl scout leader, and we had the meetings in the house. Secretly I think she wanted to be a teacher because she would always talk to me and create amazing meetings and classes. It felt very natural for me to work at camps while I was in high school and grow into the teacher I've become. 

How are things different for you now, compared to when you first started teaching?

Something that has changed since I first started teaching is the amount of paperwork. My friends who have left the field explain that it can look real easy as they walk past a classroom, but they try to share with outsiders that there is more going on than at first look.

What advice would you give to a new or struggling teacher?

Find outlets so you don't burn out. After only three years teaching I quit the profession and went back to school for a different career. It did not take me long after graduation and working in an office to realize where my heart really was. Now I live each moment in the classroom and I try to keep in mind the big picture. It's so important to not sweat the small stuff because teachers can get bombarded from many areas at once.

My best day in the classroom was when…

an older student told me proudly that she had finally read a whole novel by herself. She admitted that she had been faking her assignments in previous years but that my book recommendation gave her the confidence to complete a book. The smile and confidence she shared with me that day is something that will stay with me.

The best compliment I ever received was...

a parent said to me, “Thank you for telling me, ‘No.’” The family had been pushing their student in a way that they would argue every point on every assessment. My strategy was to be up front and explain how this could affect the student with age. Since you can never really be sure how people will react to up-front truthful statements, it felt great when the parent approached me a year later and said that without this advice middle school would have been a lot harder for their family.

What's your favorite part of the school year?

My favorite part of the school year is when your class clicks and gets your expectations. That's when your class starts feeling like a family and really starts to help each other to become the best learners.

What is your one must-have item for the classroom?

Right now it's my blogs. I have one for open-ended questions to my students ( and one for my sites (

What do you eat for breakfast on school days?

An English Muffin or instant oatmeal

What movie or TV show do you secretly love?

"The Princess Bride"


Want to be considered for EducationWorld's Teacher of the Day series? Click here.

Education World®
Copyright © 2011 Education World