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Maryssa Adams Awarded "Teacher of Promise" by Austin ISD

Nicholas Butler I June 29, 2021

This year, Maryssa Adams was recognized in her first year of teaching as "Teacher of Promise" by the Austin Independent School District (ISD). She is an Elementary Education graduate student in the College of Education's Curriculum and Instruction department. Maryssa received her bachelor's degree in Public Relations from The University of Texas at Austin. Working for the university sparked her passion for education and she decided to return to college to pursue a career as an educator. Maryssa states, "I was looking for an interactive and accredited degree program with an accelerated path to a teacher certification." Maryssa gained first-hand teaching experience through the College of Education's Teacher Recruitment Program (TRP) that requires a semester of teacher aid for eight hours a week.  

Maryssa Adams of Maplewood ES

As a student in TRP, Maryssa was able to explore her interest in teaching while learning the fundamentals of early childhood education. She states, "My professors were all well-experienced, especially when it came to teaching in a K-12 classroom. They provided me with a learning structure that became the foundation for my teaching methods." Maryssa utilized her academic experience to outline her current lesson plans and teaching assignments. Furthermore, she successfully transitioned to virtual courses during the height of the pandemic. Maryssa says, "The transition to online courses due to Covid-19 felt seamless, and faculty members made sure students' needs were met."  

Maryssa believes educators should be passionate about teaching so they can have a positive impact on their students. She states, "Educators are teaching life skills that extend beyond the four subjects. I want to create a welcoming environment where students are seen, heard, valued, and loved. I want my students to know they have worth, regardless of their skin color, social class, or background." Maryssa is following in the footsteps of teachers such as her father who encouraged her to be an advocate for her students. She expresses her gratitude for receiving her honorary recognition by Austin ISD. Maryssa says, "As I reflected on my teaching experience during Covid-19, I was reminded of all the people who supported me like my parents, teachers, cohort members, advisors, and mentors. Although I am far from perfect, I'm right where I am supposed to be." 

TRP provides opportunities for students to get first-hand classroom experience as an instructor. Dr. Katie Peterson is an advisor who provides aid to TRP Elementary Education majors and Secondary Elementary Education majors. Dr. Peterson states, "TRP applicants must have a written statement of purpose, three recommendations, and 2.5-grade point average. Once a student is accepted into the program, we determine what program options are best for them." Students can also obtain teaching experience through the Certification and Masters of Education (CMED) Program that requires 36 - 47 credit hours of coursework and a semester of student teaching (or a year-long internship). Dr. Peterson is available to assist those who are interested in pursuing a degree in education with student teaching field experience. Dr. Peterson states, “We are here to help students explore their options, so they are always welcome to reach out." 

If you would like to know more about TRP, please contact Dr. Katie Peterson at for more information.