As we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, we want to share a story about a mother and daughter working together at IDEA Public Schools.
Pamela Robinson and her daughter, Pamela Robinson Jr., are both employees at IDEA Innovation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Pamela Jr. is the 7th grade science teacher, and Pamela Sr. is the iLearning Hotspot Facilitator, a role designed to provide extra math instruction via computer technology. The iLearning Hotspot Facilitator wasn’t Pamela Sr.’s first role at IDEA, though. In fact, she joined the Team & Family two years ago as a volunteer when her daughter took the job as the 6th grade science teacher. Pamela Sr. quickly earned the nickname “Mama Pam” because of the care and helpfulness she exemplified to students and staff. She assisted in bus monitoring, lunch and recess duty, tying shoes, wiping noses—you name it!
“I fell in love with IDEA,” Pamela Sr. said about her early days at IDEA. “Walking around the halls, you just felt the excitement and passion from everybody who was part of the school.”
It wasn’t long before Pamela Sr. transitioned from her previous employer to work full-time at IDEA Public Schools. Now, mother and daughter have the unique opportunity not only to work in the same school but teach the same students. Pamela Sr.’s position allows her to see all students, grades 1-7, during a weekly special, much like a Physical Education class.
“We are tag teaming,” said Pamela Jr., referring to the special opportunity both Mom and daughter have to teach the same children. “It’s a true team effort.”
This team effort has paid off for the students at IDEA Innovation and for both Pamelas. Just recently, IDEA Innovation’s Academic Counselor surprised Pamela Jr. and Sr. by setting up flowers and yard signs at the Robinson residence to relay some great news: they had been named Teacher and Co-Teacher of the Year!
“They really made it special,” said Pam Sr. “Now neighbors walking by congratulate us and say: ‘I didn’t know you were a teacher!’”
“It was truly unexpected,” said Pamela Jr. “We don’t do this for the accolades. We do it for the love of the kids, but to wear the title of ‘Teacher of the Year’ with your mom is a great honor.”
Pam Jr.—like her mother and all teachers at IDEA—is working hard to provide distance-learning instruction for her students in light of COVID-19. “My scientists are taking it in stride,” she said, referring to her 7th grade scholars.
During these challenging times, the honor comes as a reminder of the importance of family bond. “She’s my bestie,” said Pam Sr. “We teach each other and learn from each other every single day.”
The good news kept coming for the Robinsons. In addition to being named campus teacher and co-teacher of the year, they were also honored with the distinction of Co-Teacher and College Preparatory Teacher of the Year for the entire Southern Louisiana IDEA region, due to the great work they put in and results achieved for their students!
Congratulations to Pam Jr. and Sr., and to all mothers, we want to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day!