Staff Spotlight: D'Andre Gibbs
Posted on 12/15/2023
D'Andre Gibbs

Staff Spotlight: D’Andre Gibbs

D’Andre Gibbs is a second grade teacher at Mayberry Elementary School who in four years of teaching has already proven his ability to lead, adapt and connect.

He graduated from UConn’s Neag School of Education in 2020 and started his career with East Hartford Public Schools during the 2020-2021 hybrid learning school year.

“I feel like I definitely learned a lot in that year,” said Gibbs. “But it’s been great coming in here, connecting with the kids and just seeing how excited the kids are to come to school.”

Gibbs says his favorite part of his job is forming those connections with students. He aims to be a listening ear for students so they can talk to him about school and subjects outside of school as well.

“I try to be personable and I try to treat the kids like they’re my own kids. I think that’s my teaching style right there, just being relatable and having that balance between being that figure that the kids can connect with and being that authority figure that the kids know that they have to listen, follow directions and do what they’re supposed to be doing,” explained Gibbs.

He said, “The biggest thing for me is the connection because I want the kids to want to come to school and if the kids want to come to school, they’ll also want to do a good job for you if they have that connection with you.”

Mayberry Elementary School Principal Joseph LeRoy said Gibbs always puts kids first and complimented his cool and consistent teaching style. LeRoy explained this creates a tone where students feel comfortable learning and trying their best.

“He understands that every day is a fresh start and a new opportunity for a kid to have success points,” said LeRoy. “He has a such a calming, yet a firm and consistent temperament in his classroom that it really feels almost like a home that you want for your kids to be a part of. He’s really somebody that shows that level of care without over emotion or overreaction, that really consistent and continuous understanding of what every kid needs on their own.”

Gibbs taught third grade at Mayberry for two years before moving to second grade, which Gibbs said has helped him prepare his second graders even better for the next school year.

“He’s really taken that as an opportunity and somebody that can really be a leader in really both grade levels, and an asset to team members and a resource regardless of having 4 years of experience or 40,” said LeRoy. “He’s a really special member of our team and somebody that’s invaluable for us.”

Gibbs was inspired to become a teacher after his experience working with kids as a basketball player. He has always enjoyed those relationships with children and making an impact on their ability to grow academically, socially and emotionally.

“You can see how much kids can grow within a day, within a week, within a month and within a year,” said Gibbs. “I feel like kids are our future so if you’re helping the kids out, you’re helping the future of our country out. So I want to keep doing that and contribute to who’s going to be our future.”