KATC is continuing to share the stories of all 16 LEF teacher award finalists.
Finalist Monique Walker is a seventh-grade teacher at LJ Alleman Middle School. Walker says she is no stranger to the LEF award ceremony.
After two decades of teaching and three years as a LEF award finalist, it’s almost shocking to learn education wasn’t Ms. Walker’s dream from the start.
“When I initially went to school I did not go for teaching I went for criminal justice. So I graduated in criminal justice, I graduated in that,” said Walker.
Three years into a criminal justice career, a lack of government funding left her jobless, and her mother suggested she try teaching.
“This is my twentieth year, that’s a long time,” Walker said.
It’s become apparent this was meant to be her path all along.
“I’ve been in this classroom 17 years so this is my second home and I put my all into this classroom,” Walker explained.
She hopes her students can echo a similar sentiment, treating them like family to make them feel like school is a second home too.
“I try to treat and teach these children how I would like other teachers to teach and treat my own children,” Walker said.
Upon receiving countless nominations and being recognized as a LEF Teacher Award finalist, Ms. Walker shared her secret to success in education.
“I believe in teaching a child what I call 360 degrees, not just teaching them how to read and write and grammar and all that stuff but teach them about life share some of my life with them, experiences and teach them 360 all around,” Walker explained.
Walker hopes her third year as a finalist is a charm. She hopes to bring home the big award but if not, teaching at LJ Alleman is rewarding enough.