Meet Danette Thierry, Warren Easton Charter High School Social Studies Teacher
Brassy Brown: What inspired you to be a teacher?
D.T. I think I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I was two years into my engineering program at LSU, but deep down I knew being an engineer was not in my heart. Working with children in some capacity was always attractive. I graduated from college the spring before Hurricane Katrina and spent that summer as mentor to low- income students in the Jefferson Parish Weed and Seed program. Two weeks before the storm hit, I was hired as counselor at the Naval Air Station’s Teen Center. I stayed at that post for nearly two years and moved on to work as a case worker for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Unfortunately, due to office restructuring, I was fired and less than two weeks later, I began working on my teaching certification and the rest is history.
Brassy Brown: How long have you been a teacher?
This school year marks my seventh year teaching.
Brassy Brown: Where and what do you teach?
I am a 9th grade social studies teacher at Warren Easton Charter High School in New Orleans.
4) What have you learned from your students?
I have learned to be carefree from my students. I know that may sound corny, but it’s true. Before I started teaching and working with teenagers full time, I was very conservative and uptight.
5) What do you find most challenging about being a teacher in NOLA
Uncertainty. I work in a charter school and there is zero job security. Fortunately, there is not a lot of turnover at my school, but there are schools in New Orleans where there is high teacher turnover. Post-Katrina New Orleans is finally seeing some stability and normalcy, but the reality is that the New Orleans public school system still needs improvement.
6) What’s your hope for the future of education in New Orleans? My hope is that education in New Orleans shifts back to being centered on the students. Our children’s education is not an experiment.