Goldsby Retiring But Not Giving Up Teaching
It was a simple “thank you” that she remembers as a validation of her decision to teach. His name was Luis and he sat in the second desk on the second row from the wall.
“And he said, ‘Thank you. You’re the only teacher we have that does not call us dummies and does not make us feel like we can’t do this. You’re the only one that makes us feel like we can do it, so thank you’,” explained Dr. Dianne Goldsby.
At the time, Goldsby was in her first teaching job at a high school in south Texas. She was assigned a class with a lot of struggling students. She knew she had to do her best to make an impact and to better their lives.
“I provided the environment and I provided the support. Light bulbs would go off and you see sparkles. It was an extremely rewarding experience – difficult, but rewarding. There were days I went home and cried, but overall it was very worthwhile.”
After leaving her position at the high school, Goldsby began pursuing a graduate degree at Louisiana State University. She went on to create and implement a program for three-year-olds at her church school before becoming the mathematics coordinator at a private pre-K through 12 unit school for 13 years.
One day, her son came home and told her she needed a career change and should become a professor.
“He told me, ‘mom, they need people who can help kids understand. There are professors who just don’t understand teaching like you do.’ I started my doctorate, got it and then moved to Connecticut.”
When she decided it was time to leave her position at Iona College in New York with her husband’s retirement, Goldsby and her husband decided to move to Texas to be closer to her son who lived in Houston. She interviewed with several universities, including Texas A&M. She knew her decision was made one afternoon on a drive to College Station.
Before driving out of Houston, her husband joked that if the Dream Ranch, now the Santa Rosa Ranch on Highway 6, was for sale it would be a sign that they should move to College Station.
“We were driving along and I see this big billboard and it said the Dream Ranch was for sale. I tapped my husband on the shoulder and we just knew that was our sign that I was supposed to come to A&M,” laughed Goldsby.
Goldsby joined the faculty in 2002 as a clinical assistant professor. Over the past 16 years, she moved up the ranks and retired as a clinical professor in August.
However, she is not quite ready to hang up her teaching shoes. Goldsby plans to continue working with a few doctoral students as their advisor and will offer to be a mentor to her former students.
“Teaching has been my life for 50 years, even longer than that if you count the fact that when I first went to school I came home and taught my sisters. It’s my life’s work. This is a calling and I don’t believe everyone who does this is meant to do it,” explained Goldsby. “This is a profession. It is important and it matters. I think education has to be approached as more than a job. It is something we have to be interested in and think about our impact and what is important for these students.”
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