SECOND-GRADE TEACHER AT NORTHWOOD ELEMENTARY

By Kristin Mears

Photography by JANET ROGERS

rolemodel-taylorInstilled with the passion to be a lifelong learner at a young age, Taylor Breshears knew that a career in education was the path for her. “My dad was in education,” she explains. “He not only put forth countless time and energy for his students, but also with me. He exemplified what it takes to become successful. I wanted to share that same passion with others.”

Breshears was raised as an only child in the same house since she was 2 years old. Her close-knit family calls the MacArthur cluster (Northwood, Garner and Mac) area home. After graduation, she attended Texas State University, where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in early childhood development. “I have looked up to so many people, I feel inspired to learn from them, and since becoming a teacher, I always try to do my best and be the best version of myself,” she explains.

“I love when I can witness a student’s success,” says Breshears. “Anyone in education will say that when the child has accomplished a skill that was hard or impossible to them, this is why he or she teaches.” For the past two years, she has taught second grade at Northwood Elementary School — the same school she attended in her early years. Her passion for education is thriving, and although she loves teaching second grade, she aspires to utilize her talents beyond just one classroom by becoming a PALS (Peer Assistance Leadership and Service) teacher in the future.

When Breshears isn’t being a “superhero” for her second-graders, you can find her heavily involved in the community. “I have a lot of interest in this community,” she says. “I acted as a Young Life leader/supporter, and currently coach a Little League softball team for Alamo Heights.” She loves to participate in anything outdoors or adventurous, and also lends her time working at a local boutique.

ABOUT TAYLOR
Age: 27

Why she is a role model: It takes a big heart to help shape little minds, and Taylor Breshears’ early passion for teaching is exemplified in her second-grade class at Northwood Elementary. With a compassionate work ethic and endurance to keep learning, she may look up to other influences, but this community leader, teacher and adventurous spirit is a role model not only to her second-graders, but to her friends, family and community peers as well.

Her role models: “The person that had the most influence on my life was my granny. She is no longer here, but to this day, she guides all my decisions and taught me my core values. One of the most important traits she instilled in me was to have compassion for others — whether that is cooking a meal for a loved one, simply being friendly to someone you don’t know or loving each person, no matter the circumstances. She was the strongest yet gentlest woman I have ever encountered.”

Words or phrases she lives by: “Be passionate in all you do and try to inspire others.”

Last book read: “I used to love the series of books about Eloise at the Plaza in New York as a kid. They are some of my keepsakes. Now I’m reading suspense thrillers.”

Favorite band: “Such a hard question for someone that loves music, but I love Ray Charles, Garth Brooks and Mumford & Sons.”

Favorite movie: Mary Poppins and all of Shirley Temple.

Favorite pastime in San Antonio: “I am in love with just how much our city is changing. The Pearl is a wonderful place to eat out, go shopping and go to a local market. There are so many new things for people my age to do.”

Most memorable moment as a youth: “Honestly, growing up in this community. Going to the Alamo Heights Little League fields and playing late night games, riding my bike with all my girlfriends, and being welcomed at everyone’s house. It’s a real neighborhood with neighbors that stay close. That’s something you don’t find just anywhere.”

Describe a personal goal: “To have a family. I have been so blessed to be born into a warm, supportive family, and I have always wanted to give that to someone else. I want my children to make this world a better place. For them to know how to love, be a friend and be passionate about their dreams.”

Describe a professional goal: “My career goal is to find a position in education that allows me to utilize my talents beyond teaching in just one classroom. I would love to one day be a PALS teacher, which is Peer Assistance Leadership and Service. I was a PALS leader in high school and found out just how rewarding it was to build relationships.”

What struggles, obstacles or triumphs have shaped you? “I had to work extra hard in some areas of reading when I was really young. It made me feel less successful than some of my peers. But I ended up with straight A’s by the time I got into junior high. Now I take that personal experience into my own classroom. When I sense a student is trying to learn but struggling, I want them to feel supported, encouraged and accepted. That has shaped me into the teacher that I am today. All those teachers that dedicated their time to help me are not forgotten.”