Someone who is patient, kind, and has a passion for what they do and is willing to give up this time to help the kids.
That’s how this LEF award finalist defined the word “teacher.”
“With all the great teachers in Lafayette parish its hard for me to imagine that I was chosen as one of the top four middle school teachers,” says Rachel Ducharme of Our Lady of Fatima.
Ducharme has been a LEF teacher award finalist before, but past or present, the feeling is the same. For 26 years, Ducharme who at one point wanted to be an accountant and secretary has been a teacher in Acadiana schools.
Twenty-one of those years have been spent at Our Lady of Fatima and her course has always been “math,” a subject of which she admits never really came easily to her back when she was a student.
“I had to work at it. I made very good grades because I worked very hard and I guess because I had it helped me to teach math to those who struggle with it. I understand their pain. I understand where they’re coming from because I went through it.”
Ducharme’s love of math in many ways comes from “Joe Deppa” her very own math teacher when she attended Acadiana High.
“He pushed us, made me realize math was something I can do. Math is something I really like to do so I guess he was my inspiration,” Ducharme said.
In addition to her math classes, Ducharme also teaches robotics and computer programming to kids whom she says provides her with a daily dose of inspiration.
“As an 8th grade teacher, it’s very rewarding to see them go onto the next level and be successful even in college to see them come back and say I had an impact on them and made a difference it’s just all about the kids making sure they’re ready for the next level,” Ducharme said.
LEF Middle School Award Finalist Rachel Ducharme shares her classic message about being patient with her students, with her co-workers, with everyone. “Give them a smile because a smile that you give them might just be the smile that they need.”