HENDERSON — Prairie View Middle School math teacher Josh Hawkins was surprised to learn he was named teacher of the month. Representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Partnership and School District 27J were on hand to congratulate Hawkins, who said he was “honored and humbled and appreciated the letter that was written.
“It’s humbling. It’s definitely an honor, but at the same time, I guess in this profession you always wonder if your best is good enough... is what you’re doing really making a difference in the lives of kids,” he said.
Hawkins has been a teacher with District 27J for the past 14 years and currently teaches sixth grade math. He was nominated by Language Arts Teacher Jessica Bishop for being one of the most dedicated teachers she knows.
“Josh cares not only about the education of his students but also about their personal growth and well being,” she wrote in the nomination. “He is always inviting students in during his lunch to help give them personalized instructions on their areas of weakness.”
Bishop also wrote that Josh is constantly planning with his content partner to ensure students are getting the best and most effective instruction possible. Hawkins said he is constantly working with the other sixth grade math teacher to go over what works and what didn’t work. He said he strives to make the lessons that are engaging and are applicable to the real world; essentially trying to create the math that won’t be forgotten.
“I think the part that’s the most rewarding to me is the relationships, the connections you make with kids that last — not just the year you get to work with them but years after — catching up with kids who have moved on, catching up with kids who are married with kids or have jobs,” he said.
When he’s not teaching, Hawkins is coaching the seventh-grade basketball team. He is also involved in coaching his son's soccer and basketball teams.