By Texas City Independent School District
Lexie Alaniz always knew she wanted to be a teacher. As a junior and senior in Texas City High School’s Ready, Set, Teach program, that desire was solidified as she worked with students at Kohfeldt Elementary and Levi Fry Intermediate.
So she knew when it was time to start teaching full-time that she wanted to come back to Texas City ISD.
“I’ve always said that I want to teach where I went to school, that I want to teach the same kids I went to school with,” Alaniz says. “I have kids in my classroom that I know their parents, I know their families, and I think that helps me to relate to these kids a lot better because I went here and I did everything that they’re doing.”
Not only did she return to TCISD as a first-year teacher in 2019, she returned to the campus where she first started her Ready, Set, Teach journey, teaching fourth grade math, science and social studies at Kohfeldt. Her time with her students ended without a goodbye when COVID-19 closed schools after spring break, so when a friend told her of a fifth-grade math opening at Levi Fry, Alaniz says she jumped at the chance to follow her students.
“I had a really great relationship with my kids last year and I was so sad we didn’t get to have a goodbye,” she says. “Math is really my forte, so I was happy to come over (to Fry) and only teach math. I really love it.”
Alaniz says there were many teachers during her years in Texas City schools that had an influence on her, from her mom Amy, a 29-year TCISD veteran teacher and her Ready, Set, Teach teacher Ms. Knape (now Mrs. Kopp), to third grade teachers Ms. Hendricks and Ms. Spangler and her fifth grade science teacher at Levi Fry. That teacher, Ms. Honicker, is now one of her co-workers, something Alaniz says is a little weird.
“That was the craziest thing for me to get used to,” she says. “To come back and be a teacher with the people, the teachers, who taught me when I was there and not be a student, but a peer.”
Alaniz says she loves being part of a district that helps in any way to do what it can for those students in need. It wasn’t something she could see when she was a student, but something she sees now that she’s a teacher.
“I thought everyone grew up like me and had a great and easy life … and coming back and being a teacher here, you just realize that that’s not the case for everyone,” she says. “(TCISD) does a really good job of reaching out and helping them, and I think teachers are a big part in that.”