On Friday, March 13th, the last day in the classroom before distance learning set in, one of Metro RESA’s first year GaTAPP candidates received a special surprise. JaLynda Drumgoole was teaching a math lesson when her Principal walked in the room along with a journalist from the Marietta Daily Journal and a representative from Superior Plumbing to award Mrs. Drumgoole with the “Apple for a Teacher” award. As a winner, she was given her own iPad and had a featured article in the Marietta Daily Journal recognizing her dedication in the classroom.

What makes the award most meaningful is knowing that she was nominated by her students, parents and community.

Mrs. Drumgoole is a first year teacher at Hendricks Elementary School in Cobb County. She has built amazing relationships with her 2nd grade students and their families. “It’s an honor knowing that parents appreciated me enough to nominate me,” shared Mrs. Drumgoole. The iPad has certainly come in handy now that all teaching has shifting to digital platforms. Like many teachers, Mrs. Drumgoole misses her students and enjoys seeing their faces via Zoom meetings.

Q&A with Mrs. Drumgoole

How has the GaTAPP program benefited you and your classroom?

GaTApp DEFINITELY prepared me for the classroom. The Essentials class particularly prepared me even more than I was expecting. I felt so confident going in to the first days of school because of that Essentials course. Even though it is rigorous, I appreciate it because I am able to apply everything I learn directly into the classroom. I have learned so much during this year from GaTAPP, which has made me more confident than I had ever imagined being in the classroom. It is a lot of work, but you learn so much because they are holding you accountable and you get to apply what you learn every single day.

What advice do you have for new teachers?

My number one piece of advice is to build relationships with your parents and your students. It is important to get to know each of your students and their interest outside of the classroom in order to relate to them. My families and I are very close, something like a family. I learned in the Essentials class that relationships were so important, and I made sure to build them in my classroom. My students and my parents know that I care about them.

What led you into teaching?

I knew in my heart I wanted to teach from a child, but various circumstances led me other places. I am so thankful that I have been led back to my heart’s desire, which is teaching, and I just love it!

Metro RESA is so proud of all of our amazing educators. We are thankful for the impact they have on countless numbers of students and families. Mrs. Drumgoole, thank you for the relationships you are building and lives you are changing at Hendricks Elementary!

jalynda drumgoole