From Corporate America to the classroom—Lynell Dillard spent three years as an accountant before realizing teaching was her passion. While still working as an accountant, she taught a weekly finance class where her students became her inspiration to pursue a full-time career in the classroom.
Dillard to her first teaching position in 2002 and hasn’t looked back. For three years now she has been teaching science at Clemente Martinez Elementary school where she loves giving her students hands-on learning opportunities they may not experience outside of the classroom.
“A lot of times they don’t get to take a trip to certain places. They will never experience sand because they don’t go to Galveston.” said Dillard.
She explains that for many of her students her role as a teacher is to expose them to as many opportunities to interact with the natural environment as possible. She knows many of her students and their families would not have access to these resources if it were not for the school district.
“I believe everything they learn has to be hands-on, whether it’s videos, songs, or pictures.”
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Throughout her tenure, Dillard has realized objectives stick with her students the more interactive her lessons are. It’s also important to her that the students not only know but understand each other’s differences, strengths, and varied interests.
“Number one, we all learn in a different way. So we have to be willing to help that other person if they don’t get what I get and there’s no criticism in it,” Dillard said. “I tell them they are my future. Every single part of your education is important.”
Dillard is one of six Houston Independent School District (HISD) teacher finalists for the 2021-2022 alliantgroup SPARK Award. This award was created to recognize local teachers who are innovative in helping students learn about STEM. This year’s winner will be announced on May 26th.
About the Author
Christina Bradberry is a former Emmy nominated News Producer turned Multimedia pro. She joined alliantgroup in the spring of 2022 after nearly a decade in the news industry. When she’s not showcasing alliantgroup’s work in the community and innovative projects, you can find her on the water paddle boarding or on the dance floor learning to ballroom dance.