Jessica LaPeer '10
Jessica graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word in Fall 2009. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the Dreeben School of Education while part of the AdCAP Program (Adult Degree Completion Program and earned her teaching certification in Early Childhood-4th Grade. Jessica was an elementary classroom teacher for nine years and currently serves as a high school counselor in the San Antonio area.
Catching Up with Cardinals
Jessica LaPeer '09
Dreeben School of Education
Friday, December 1, 2023
Q: Can you share the moment you realized that you wanted to be a teacher?
A: I always knew I wanted a profession where I could help others, but the moment I realized I wanted to be a teacher was when I had a child of my own.
Q: How did the UIW Teacher Education program help prepare you for your role as a teacher?
A: The UIW Teacher Education program was amazing. I was actually in the AdCAP program, so my classes were in the evening. The professors were knowledgeable, understanding, and caring. They prepared us as future educators by not only teaching curriculum, but also sharing authentic stories from the classroom. By the time we began student teaching, we were already prepared to teach.
Q: What is your favorite memory from the Teacher Education program at UIW?
A: My favorite memory from the Teacher Education program was meeting & connecting with my classmates. There's a camaraderie built, which turns into lifelong friendships.
Q: How long have you been working in education?
A: I am now in my 13th year of education.
Q: Tell us about your current position/job.
A: After 9 years as an elementary teacher, I am now in my 4th year as a high school counselor. The change was a big adjustment, but staying in the same district made the change a little easier.
Q: What do you love the most about your current job?
A: There are so many great things about being a school counselor. Mostly, I love witnessing the growth of my kids, academically & emotionally. I get to see them grow up, as if they were my own children. Graduation day is bittersweet because while I feel so proud of my students, it is also a time to say goodbye and see them off into the real world.
Q: What helps you avoid job burnout?
A: Self-care is extremely important for all educators. Taking time for yourself throughout the school year is vital to avoid the burnout. The workload is not going anywhere, so I say, "Take that vacation!"
Q: Do you have any advice for anyone considering a career in teaching?
A: My advice to future educators is to really make sure you are going into education for the kids. Teaching is not for everyone. It takes patience, understanding, more patience, flexibility, and even more patience. Summer and winter breaks are definitely a bonus!
Q: What are your career goals for the next five years?
A: In the next five years, I plan to enroll back into graduate school and earn my last 18 hours to become a licensed professional counselor. I absolutely love helping students succeed, but I also want to help others. I have not decided if I will stay in the education field, but I know I will always be in a profession where I can help others.