Teacher of the Month: Jesica Hartley, Spanish Fort High School

Teacher of the month ESP June 2023

In here: We laugh. We try. We make
mistakes. We try again. We grow.

This is the saying that is displayed on a sign hanging in the classroom of Mrs. Jesica Hartley, the Multiple Disabilities teachers at Spanish Fort High School. She explains these are the words she lives by daily as she works with her students, ranging in age from 15-21 years old.

“One of the most rewarding parts of being a teacher in a special needs self-contained classroom is watching my students grow and become more independent”.

Mrs. Hartley shares

“Having a student for four to seven years in the same class can be very challenging, but being able to witness their growth and build true relationships with my students and their parents is the greatest feeling.”

Mrs. Hartley explained that she keeps her students motivated to learn, year in and year out, by being fun and spontaneous! Some ways she might implement this is through an impromptu game of Bingo, a surprise update to the seating chart, or even a dance party to celebrate great behavior!

“My students have taught me how to adapt, be patient, and what genuine love is,” she said. “They have made me a better person, wife, and mother. They have taught me tomorrow is a new day!”

Mrs. Hartley has been teaching for 17 years and says she stays motivated to teach by cherishing the daily moments when her students master a new skill or accomplish a goal that has been set.

“All I really want as a teacher is to make my students feel loved and included. I want them to be happy, love coming to school, and socialize as much as possible,” said Mrs. Hartley. “My goal is to help them make friends and make progress in every area I can, whether that’s academically, socially, behaviorally, or a life skill. I want society to accept them, love them, and believe in them as much as I do. I always celebrate the little things because they matter!”

Jesica Hartley is married to Lee and together they have two children: Madison (10) and Mason (9). The family loves to spend time together attending sporting events, sitting around their pool, or going to the beach. Jessica has completed several Bachelor’s degrees and is certified in teaching Special Education (K-12).


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