EL PASO, Texas -- As schools across the Borderland celebrating the Class of 2022, there are many teachers who helped them get them who are also worth celebrating especially after they had to teach during the pandemic.
That includes one teachers who's saying goodbye to the profession, Jaime Loweree. The 7th grade English teacher at Wiggs Middle School is retiring after 47 years as an educator.
"When I started, (the) Vietnam (War) was still fresh in everybody's mind, so that was a topic of conversation, especially in in high school," said Loweree. Loweree started his career at Cathedral High School as a football coach and fell into teaching accidentally.
"I don't think at the time, I realized that...if you're going to coach football you also got to teach."
The 65-year-old left Cathedral in the 90s and moved to Bowie High School before ending his career at Wiggs.
Loweree has gone through many societal changes in his career, the development of technology was one of the most notable changes.
Then came the pandemic. "It up-ended the whole paradigm of education, which is the kids sitting in front of you in the classroom."
He said it challenged him and others to reach out to students in different ways.
"There's not a manual, there might be one now, but there was no manual for this...what you should do."
As for the future of education Loweree believes school districts will need to work on way to shorten the transition phase that schools have at the beginning of the year. He said it took several months during the first full year back in the classroom to help the students get adjusted to being back in school. He also said social and emotional development will also need to be a focus, describing the classroom as a drain, "where every social movement, social change in society eventually finds its way to the classroom."
His biggest to advice to educators, take care of yourself and celebrate each win no matter how small.
"Teaching is a ride on the ferris wheel and you got to enjoy and celebrate the views from the top because those views from the top are what keeps you coming back the next day," Loweree said.
"I have worked with some of the most wonderful people in the world at every one of my three schools. Every one of them is a teacher of the year to one of their students, or more, whether they're recognized by a school or not, every teacher touches somebody every day."
While he plans to take a step back and focus on his health, Loweree said there's still lots of work to done. He plans on either volunteering or substituting during his retirement.