Billie Giroux understands students who might be struggling in her third-grade classroom. She has great advice for students who have a tough time in school. That’s because she struggled as a student herself.
“One thing I always encourage my students to do is ask for a different explanation if something is unclear,” she said. “I was a struggling student and I was too fearful to ask for extra help, so I stayed quiet and tried to stay under the radar. I did as much work as I could on my own. I was embarrassed to reach out for fear of being made fun of.
“Due to that experience, I am more tuned in to the quiet children, as I know they may be trying to understand while trying to go unnoticed. Never be afraid to ask for help!”
Giroux was named a Northwest Schools 2019-20 Nurtured Heart Award winner. That award goes to an outstanding educator who lives and breathes the Nurtured Heart Approach in their classroom, in the hallways and possibly in all parts of their life. This is a colleague who helps kids feel great about who they are and creates successes that would not otherwise exist.
Giroux has been an educator for 13 years, including four as a part of Northwest Community Schools. She loves it here.
“I'm so proud to be a teacher in this district,” she said. “I feel as if all aspects of my life have become so much more positive and focused since I started in 2016. I love that I am encouraged to do what I feel is best for my students. I feel valued as a staff member and cared for as a person. Being a part of the Mountie Nation has made a tremendous difference in my life and I'm so grateful to be here!”
Ten years ago, Giroux thought she might be a principal at this point. But there’s no place she’d rather be than in the classroom.
“I have always loved working with children,” she said, “and I feel as if I am where I am supposed to be, especially on the days when the lesson flops or the kids need more hugs than extra help in math. The kids and I form a bond, we share jokes and silly moments and look forward to new things each day. What could be better?”
Here are five more things to know about Billie Giroux:
If you could learn to do anything what would it be?
“I love music and have always wanted to take singing lessons or learn how to play the drums. … Music can make a good day even better or pick you up when you're down!”
If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would you meet?
“I think it would be amazing to talk to Maya Angelou. Her strength and her story were so inspiring. Her gift for telling her stories through poetry was so moving.”
What three traits define you?
“I am a humble person. I love to make people laugh and feel great about themselves. I'm goal-oriented and very driven.”
If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
“I'd pay off our family's debt, set up a trust fund for our son, invest some for our future and donate to some charities that are close to our hearts.”
How do you define success?
“Success is attained when a like-minded group of people work together, utilizing their individual strengths collectively and work together to achieve a common goal.”