ZEPHYR — Tiffany Baker's mind was set on being a teacher as a child, upon encountering her grade school teachers growing up. As a self-admitted teacher’s pet, Baker liked and took to what was said to be “the meanest little teacher in the school,” Ms. Reese. Mr. Gibson also inspired the strong-willed spirit, a seventh-grade math teacher who is now a junior high principal in Flower Mound and internet pals with Baker.
“Ms. Reece was great. She was this little, bitty black lady, who never got married and was known to be mean, but I liked her. I always went back to see her in junior high and high school,” Baker said.
After graduating with a degree in Elementary Education, Tiffany taught Social Studies to fifth graders and remembered feeling, “This isn’t really fun, but they could take a joke,” Baker kidded. The then elementary school teacher decided to enlist in the military, where she’d end up being awarded Airman of the Year in 2008.
After leaving her class in the good hands of a substitute for some time, Baker returned home to Brownwood as a teacher, and then later took on the job as a second-grade teacher to the inquisitive minds of Zephyr Elementary.
“They’re the best class ever. They’re full of excitement about learning,” Baker said. What the second-grade teacher hopes her students will get out of school this year is a love for learning.
As I sit and talk with Baker her phone rings. It’s her daughter, she’s instructing family and answering my questions. So, I ask the “Super Mom,” is this who she is mostly — mom all day? “Pretty much,” Baker said. The mom of three recalls always loving kids and wanting to be around them, but isn’t really sure she switches hats between the office and at home.
It’s all intertwined, the guiding and teaching in every situation. I begin to think to myself. well Baker did earn a Master’s in Homeland Security. Most of a teacher’s day is spent with the kids at school and Zephyr grade school kids are guided with the same hand in which the Bakers kids are guided, as many teachers have told the Bulletin.
As a teacher, dealing with each class and student as they present themselves has been key in keeping things fun and a proven successful method for this proud Bulldog. And as a person that has sat on all sides of the desk as a student, mom, and teacher, Baker enjoys working with the moms of Zephyr to ensure their kids' success.
“Zephyr moms are a good group,” she said. “And that’s what I like about teaching at a small school, we’re like a family. I know if a child is left sitting outside, I know who the students are. Teaching in Brownwood we just have no way of knowing who all the kids are. That’s one disadvantage of a big school.”
With that being said, it looks like Santa brought Baker exactly what she was asking for this year — happiness, being with family and healthiness for everyone.