Jana Ecrette

Jana Ecrette, fifth grade teacher at the University School at the University of Tulsa, couldn’t be happier with her job.  She loves teaching and she enjoys the kids, but she didn’t always want to be an educator. 

“I absolutely fought against it, everyone in my family was an educator, so I thought we had enough of that,” said Ecrette. 

Starting college, she though she knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life.  She enrolled in the engineering department at Oklahoma State University.  She wanted to be an engineer because she thought there weren’t enough women in the field.  Engineering didn’t pan out for her though. 

“Engineering at the time was a male dominated field.  I didn’t have the tools to deal with that at the time.  I hadn’t been trained to deflect insults very well,” Ecrette said.

She switched to a math degree and her first job was for an actuary for a bank, which measures statistics for insurance companies.  A slew of other careers followed including working as a computer programmer for an oil company, designing computer systems for the marketing department at Coca Cola, and after the birth of her son, working as a flight attendant. 

About her time spent as a flight attendant Ecrette said “there were times when it was glamorous, but there was a lot of downtime and it was mostly boring.”

As her son grew older, she began to read books on gifted education because of her son’s behavior.  His teachers didn’t understand him, but to Ecrette, his traits sounded like what her sister was dealing with where she worked at the University School for gifted children in Tulsa. 

Ecrette relocated from Houston to Tulsa so that her son could attend the University School.  Ecrette decided to go back to school.  She received her Master’s in Gifted Education and shortly thereafter began teaching at the University School. 

Now that Ecrette has found her calling, she doesn’t regret how long it took her to do so.  “I feel like this is what I was meant to do.  Now I’m glad that I had all of the different experiences in life.  They prepared me for dealing with different types of people and challenges.” 

Jan Lincoln, the 5th grade teaching assistant works closely with Ecrette.  Together they are able to expose the class to various forms of learning.  “Just last week we took the class to “Revolutionary Days,” an event at the University of Tulsa which gave the class a taste of what it was like to live in this country during that time,” Lincoln said.  The entire class, including the teachers dressed up for the event. 

Mrs. Lincoln on left, Mrs. Ecrette on right

“Jana is an excellent teacher.  She’s able to reinforce ideas taught in the classroom through related activities,” Lincoln said. 

Ecrette loves the work she does and her class.  “My different career paths were a search for what was perfect for me.  Now that I’ve found what’s perfect for me, there are no perfect days as a teacher.  However, it’s helped me to grow.” 

 Check out the University School’s website here: http://www.uschool.utulsa.edu/

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