For the second year in a row, a Baylor University School of Education student teacher has been named Clinical Teacher of the Year for the State of Texas by the Texas Directors of Field Experience (TDFE), the organization of faculty members within university teacher-education programs who supervise field experiences of students.
Rachel Vaughn will receive the Clinical Teacher of the Year Award, which honors senior-level teacher-education students, during the statewide meeting this fall of the Consortium of State Organizations for Texas Teacher Education of which TDFE is a part. Vaughn is among three honorees from university-based programs.
Through the Baylor School of Education teacher-preparation program, Vaughn spent her entire senior year as an intern in a school classroom. Because she received a supplemental certificate in gifted and talented education, Vaughn served in two different schools, teaching fourth grade at Woodway Elementary and third grade at Spring Valley Elementary, both in Midway ISD.
Vaughn graduated from Baylor in May with a degree in elementary education with supplemental certificates in gifted education and English as a Second Language. At Baylor she was a member of Delta Delta Delta and received the Who’s Who award. Vaughn grew up in Bellaire where she was a gold-level Girl Scout and graduated from Houston’s St. Agnes Academy in 2013.
She is now teaching second grade at West University Elementary in Houston ISD, where she intends to inspire her students to be lifelong learners.
“I came into college worried that I wouldn’t achieve anything because I’m dysgraphic and dyslexic,” Vaughn said. “I wanted to study gifted education so I could help those students who are profoundly gifted but also hampered a little bit by a learning disability. I see no reason why children who have trouble reading, writing or spelling can’t also show how wonderfully talented they are.”
Vaughn was identified in kindergarten as gifted, but she still struggled in school because of a learning disability. However, there was never any question that she wanted to be a teacher.
“Before I was in preschool, I was modifying activities for my brothers. In kindergarten, I developed a behavior management plan for one of my classmates,” Vaughn said.