Carol Jackson wins Teacher of the Month

Mrs. Jackson poses in front of her classroom door next to her beloved Texas Rangers poster. Jackson recently won teacher of the month for October. Photo by Trevor Stiff.

Mrs. Jackson poses in front of her classroom door next to her beloved Texas Rangers poster. Jackson recently won teacher of the month for October. Photo by Trevor Stiff.

Mrs. Jackson poses in front of her classroom door next to her beloved Texas Rangers poster. Jackson recently won teacher of the month for October. Photo by Trevor Stiff.

by Coleman Armes

Staff Writer

Every month Coppell High School rewards one teacher who has been nominated by other teachers and honors them for their hard work. But for the month of October the teacher chosen was not your teacher.

She keeps quiet in C117 but makes a huge difference on her student’s lives. This was Carol Jackson.

For the past 18 years, Jackson has had a career in special education. She started off in Dallas as an Autism crisis teacher where she went around the district supporting teachers and helping them with assessments and screening. Then after taking 10 years off to raise her children, Jackson came back to the profession she loved this time to teach fifth and sixth grade special needs students in Southlake. Three years later, she came to Coppell.

For four years now, Jackson has called CHS her home.

“My job is awesome,” Jackson said. “I’m very passionate about it. It’s a 24/7 job but I love it because I’ve seen the benefits of what I’m doing and how it changes lives.”

Jackson is a structured learning teacher for two special needs students. Structured learning is a class in which students use the principles of applied behavior analysis to learn new skills and shape behavior. On a normal day, students work on their job skills, functional academics and are taught things specific to their individual education plan.

Jackson has also taken advantage of technology in her classroom. After applying, Jackson won an Education Foundation Grant worth $1,400. With this, she bought two iPads for her classroom and her students use communication apps. For example, her students can choose what they want for lunch just by visually seeing the choices on the screen and touching them. They also can simulate making a meal in real life by clicking on what ingredients and materials they would need to make the food.

Jackson has pushed for more technology by creating her own. Jackson’s husband Brian Hannah, a computer programmer, helped Jackson create a program called Direct Teach Time. This is a direct instruction program that teaches students language skills. Jackson and her husband both have great aspirations for this program.

“Hopefully we can get it expanded to other teachers around the district that work with students with autism,” Jackson said.

After being nominated by former CHS principal Brad Hunt, Jackson was rewarded for using technology and became a “Super Teacher” last year, which is a teacher who uses a variety of different technology in her classroom. Current Principal Mike Jasso, who presented Jackson with the October Teacher of the Month award, has taken notice of her.

“She is a very special person who cares deeply about her kids. Anyone who knows her can see that in the first five minutes of being with her,” Jasso said.

As for Jackson the award came as a shock to her.

“It was very exciting to win Teacher of the Month because I have a small class and what I do is so different from what other teachers do,” Jackson said. “It was nice to see that people recognize me for the hard work I’ve done.”

Although Jackson is thrilled to receive this award, she says she gets most excited when her relationships with the students grow, her students language and behavior skills improve and the overall hard work pays off.

One student who gets an inside look into Jackson’s impact Jacksons student’s fourth period peer tutor, senior Phillip Ellis.

“She works hard and shows that she actually cares about the kids. She knows them well and knows what she is doing,” Ellis said.