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Former Dorn Student Returns in Teaching Role

For Jasmine Hakawati, it’s a homecoming of sorts.

The former Dorn School student will student-teach this semester at the same Hickory Hills School she attended as a little girl.  She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at St. Xavier University. 

Ms. Hakawati said her passion for teaching began at a young age when she would pretend to be a teacher with all her cousins, making her own classroom in her basement.

By the time she was in high school, she decided to be part of the preschool program at Stagg. It was then she realized she wanted to make teaching her career.

Jasmine credits her first-grade teacher for sparking her interest in teaching. She says that her teacher supported her as a student despite struggling with academics at such a young age.

Ms. Hakawati appreciated being challenged to keep going with working towards her goals, and that her family was provided guidance with how to work with her at home.

“I'll never forget the journals I used to write in her class where she would sit one-on-one with me to assist me during those writing pieces. This was a memory that I'll never forget," she said. "She helped me get back on track into my academics and that's the same way I want to reach my students.” 

Ms. Hakawati said she believes a great teacher is someone who is selfless, inviting, supportive and charismatic. "A great teacher is someone who can develop new techniques and be open to new learning to better themselves and their students, adapting to the environment they are in, working with what they have, and fighting for what they believe in," she said.

She also says that drive, dedication and willingness to develop relationships with every student and their families are all necessary for a successful classroom environment.

Her teaching style is influenced by her desire to be a great teacher which she describes as a more hands-on approach through facilitated interactions, along with direct instruction and direct experience that can target each child.

Ms. Hakawati said she focuses on auditory and visual representations throughout everything done in her classroom, allowing her students to visually see what she is teaching along with hearing about it.

She said she is excited to come back to Dorn and use everything she’s learned to make a difference in each of her students’ lives.