Whenever Bales 5th grade teacher Sharon Dixon was a little girl, her dad would tell her she could do anything – be anyone – she wanted if she put her mind to it. As she made her way through life, Dixon held tight to her father’s words and became many things: a student, a volunteer, a wife, a mother, a grandmother and a teacher.
“I’ve never, not a day in my life, thought there was something I couldn’t do,” Dixon said. “So, I just do it.”
Bales Principal JT Patton had his own labels for what Dixon has become.
“She is trust-worthy, she is reliable, she’s caring, she challenges students, she’s prepared, she’s thoughtful and she’s a great teacher,” Patton said. “She’s pretty quiet and keeps to herself, so a lot of people probably don’t know everything she does and how valuable she is to the campus.”
Valuable she is, indeed. Dixon has been teaching at Bales for her entire teaching career of 18 years, she is a Student Council sponsor, she aids with Robotics after school, and she’s been a huge part of a new initiative called Bales Brainstorming Days (BBD).
BBD are six special days during the year where students will partner with community professionals and Friendswood High School students to work on projects in the fields of business/entrepreneurship, engineering, and literacy. Putting all of it together took an immense amount of time, according to Patton, and Dixon played a huge role in the process.
“There is a lot of work put in behind the scenes by her,” he said. “She created a curriculum for the students and the teachers. Her effort in doing all of that has been huge.”
“It was something I felt passionate about because I’m always looking for something outside of the regular curriculum to allow the kids to develop more on their own,” Dixon said. “I want them to be excited and find the answers.”
Another passion of Dixon’s is the social-emotional learning (SEL) push in Friendswood ISD.
“I love that we’re taking the time to teach [SEL]. We’re creating a culture here where students are aware of their behaviors and aware of the impact of their behaviors, and I think it’s a really positive move,” she stated. “We’re developing great citizens, just good, all-round people with good foundations.”
Dixon said she always tries to be a good role model for her students by being positive.
“I focus a lot on staying positive and being the best person I can be,” she said. “I try to intentionally have a smile because I want to show them I care about them by continuing to have a smile on my face even when I have to be firm.”
It’s easy to smile every day, according to Dixon, because she loves what she does.
“I love kids, I love my community, I love my school and I love my job,” Dixon said with a smile.
She added that her favorite part of teaching is when students return years later to see her.
“The best ones are when they tell me, ‘it wasn’t easy in your class, but it was the best thing that happened. The skills and the strategies you taught are things I’m going to use for the rest of my life’” she recalled. “That’s what I love: having someone say I made a difference in their life.”
Patton said Dixon made a difference in his own daughter’s life who had her as a teacher many years ago.
“Sharon really instilled a passion and fortitude in the importance of reading and reading a lot with my oldest daughter, so she really makes an impact on kids that way,” he said. “Whenever she interacts with kids, she believes in the importance of student responsibility. She sets up her class in a way that students have freedom in what they’re reading, she asks good questions, she takes input from kids and acts on it.”
Giving the students room to learn and grow has allowed Dixon to pass on her father’s encouragement to her own students. Above all, she said she hopes her students believe they can do anything and be anyone if they put their mind to it.