The Smith Family: Part One

Martha: My name is Martha Smith, and I am Cassandra Alexis Smith’s grandmother. I have always instilled in her to follow her passion, and when she told me she wanted to be an educator, I said, “Yes, go for it. You’ve got it!” I see her passion, her imagination, and her talent. I knew she would be very successful. I’ve seen her do her lessons, and I knew all along that she was going to succeed and be an excellent teacher.


Cassandra: I owe it all to her. She’s pushed me, supported me, and takes away the worry I have when it comes to the unknown. Often, that’s a big fear—you don’t know what’s going to happen. She’s just that person who tells you everything’s going to be okay. I owe a lot of my life to my grandma.


Martha: I always encouraged her, even through the hard times. I would tell her, “You can do it. If others can do it, you can do it, and you can even do it better.” She would go through it and come back to thank me after a good talk and a good cry. She has really surprised me because she’s tough. She’s really tough.


I have two daughters—one is a sergeant in the LPD, and the other is a doctor of physical therapy. They went different ways, but when Cassandra, my granddaughter, told me she wanted to be an educator like me, I said, “You’re mine. I got you.” I took her under my wing because she has the passion, the imagination, the patience, and the intelligence. I told her, “You’re going to be terrific. You’re going to continue where I left off and go even further.” I am so proud of her.


I am also thankful for the professors here at TAMIU. She always talks about them so highly. They have helped her along the way, giving her encouragement. TAMIU and its community have been like a second home for her. If she wasn’t at my house, she was here. The people here have helped her so much, and I am very thankful.


I remember one lesson we worked on together. She was very excited, and I started pulling out my old teaching materials from a cabinet. She got so excited, saying, “I can use this, and I can use that.” We had so much fun working together, cutting, and pasting.


I also remember when she was about six years old, she was in my classroom on a workday. She was pretending to be a teacher, using her imagination, and I pretended not to see her so she would continue. When she told me she wanted to pursue teaching, I knew she had everything she needed to become a great educator and eventually the professor she wants to be.


Cassandra: One thing I remember vividly was when I was studying for the content exams. It was anxiety-inducing, but I loved studying with her. I would ask her questions, and we would take turns. If I got one wrong, I would ask her why, and we would go back and forth. She was always helping me study.


Whenever I had concerns about student teaching or classroom management, I would ask my grandma. She would give me tips like setting expectations, repeating myself, and following a routine. Even for job interviews, she would help me practice and give advice.

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