Meet Tabiatha Penson, M. Ed.
TEACH Program Manager
It was the female educators in Tabiatha’s life who sparked her passion for education. As the only girl in her family, she became the go-to for helping them grade papers or decorate their classrooms’ bulletin boards, ultimately setting the path for a career in teaching. Tabiatha went on to earn two Master’s degrees in Educational Administration and in Curriculum Instruction, as well as various Texas teaching certifications. It was while serving as a Teacher Specialist within the Houston Independent School District that she saw TEACH’s impact first-hand.
Having joined TEACH in June 2021, Tabiatha is excited for the opportunity to make an impact in classrooms post-pandemic, a time during which teachers and students alike are hungry for relationship-building, structure and learning. When she’s not coaching teachers and making a difference in the life of Houston students, Tabiatha is a self-proclaimed professional cheerleader, driver, medical attendant and trainer, spending a large part of her free time supporting her children’s sporting events or proudly watching one of her husband’s high school football games.
TEACH: Is there a particular moment during your time at TEACH that stands out?
TP: My appreciation for TEACH actually dates back to before I was even part of the team. Both of the campuses where I was a Teacher Specialist were TEACH campuses. The elementary campus was an “improvement-required” school, which meant it was below state standards and ran the risk of having the Department of Education take it over. TEACH helped change that. Many of these teachers, students and parents had just given up. Using TEACH’s strategies, they were not able to change their mindset but also strengthen their relationships and their performance altogether. TEACH helped them rewrite their narrative in a way that wasn’t just beneficial but also sustainable. The school continues to implement TEACH’s strategies today.
TEACH: Who do you consider one of the great teachers in your life and why?
TP: My 11th grade English teacher, Ms. Richardson, was someone who everyone wanted to be, the consummate professional. She didn’t allow us to settle. She pushed us and treated us like we were going to college, like we were adults. It was clear she wasn’t there to babysit. She commanded respect. Even as we all graduated and got older, my classmates and I will often think back on the things she’d say. She really made a lasting impact on her students.
TEACH: At the end of the day, what is one thing you find most fulfilling about your job?
TP: That I’m able to impact so many people by the natural course of the work that I do. There’s nothing like seeing that “lightbulb moment” in both teachers and students and seeing how something we’ve taught them continues to get implemented and make a difference in their lives, both inside and outside of the classroom.
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