The student news site of Freehold High School

The Colonial

The student news site of Freehold High School

The Colonial

The student news site of Freehold High School

The Colonial

Teacher Feature – Ms. Dominique Taylor

Photo Courtesy of Zachary Berger

Robert Frost once said, “I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” Dominique Taylor knew from an early age that she had that passion to become not just a teacher but that awakener. She said, “I always wanted to be a teacher, even as a kid I always wanted to play school. It was a passion I always grew up with.”

We all can scoff at that thought because when we were all young children, we had thoughts and dreams of having various jobs from cowboy to fire person to even a professional athlete. Ms. Taylor though never wavered. She said, “Throughout high school, I became very interested in business and absolutely loved my business classes. When I was looking at colleges to attend, I was at a standstill.  I was so unsure if I should major in education or business. That was when my mom found out that Rider University had a double major of ‘Business Education’. I spoke with the head of that department, and I knew at that moment that was going to be the best of both worlds for me.”

Walking through your path to your dream like Ms. Taylor was undertaking needed that guiding light or in her case lights. She had two people that made an impact in her falling in love with teaching. She would go on to explain, “Two people had an impact on me. First, was my high school Marketing teacher. Again, combining my two passions, I thought she had the best job. At one point, I was in a cooperative education program, and I worked as her assistant because I was so interested in her day-to-day.”

The second guiding light for Ms. Taylor was the head of the Business Education program at Rider University. “Second, the professor that heads the Business Education program at Rider University was extremely impactful to me and my career choice. I wasn’t a ‘number’ in college, but I was known by my name and my accomplishments, and that network got me where I am today.”

That is not to say she didn’t look up to someone other than those in a teaching profession, or did she? In fact, Ms. Taylor confided that she looked up to her older sister. “She too is a teacher and shows so much passion for her students and education that we have always bonded over this common passion. Moreover, as a soon-to-be mom, I look up to her as a mom because she is one of the best mothers I know to my three nephews  and makes mothering look easy.”

Ms. Taylor’s first teaching job was in fact here at Freehold Boro. She graduated college back in May of 2014. She found out that she got the position right before she graduated. She even student taught at Freehold Township. It was there she started teaching financial literacy and has not looked back since. In fact, that is where she started to grow her teaching style. When asked what makes her style her own, Ms. Taylor said, “I try to be empathetic in my approach. I want to know my students as a person, their interests, and I want to know that they are okay day to day, before I tackle the workload.”

Tackle the workload Ms. Taylor has done. However, as with everything as time passes teaching as well evolved. Ms. Taylor had said, “Teaching has definitely changed in my ten years in the profession. The biggest change is technology and having to pivot teaching styles with those ever-changing trends. Chromebooks, phones, etc.” 

Even with roadblocks as teachers like cellphone distractions in Ms. Taylor’s eyes, she has a high bar for the students at Boro, “My goal is to teach students everyday skills and have them feel comfortable as they move forward independently in their lives. That is why financial literacy is such a wonderful and important class to teach. “

If her daily interactions with students is evident enough regarding her passion for teaching and financial literacy, one can only look at her response when asked if she won the lottery what would she do first with the winnings. “Speaking as a true financial literacy teacher, I would pay off any loans I have first, as well as any loans my mom has as well.”

As Ms. Taylor embarks on a different yet even more rewarding adventure as a mom, she wanted to make sure that every one of her students continues to embrace the coursework because as we all graduate high school, we will continue to take the lessons learned from Financial Literary class into our day to day. However, don’t get Ms. Taylor wrong that while she will miss colleagues and talking with them each day but if she retired right now, she would enjoy the love of being a stay-at-home mom. 

There is a quote that says that a good education can change anyone. A good teacher can change everything. While Ms. Taylor did not take my advice in naming her baby Zachary, she is one of those good teachers that has in my case changed everything and how I look at things outside of school. I know I can speak for every student that takes her class and fellow faculty colleagues when I say that Ms. Taylor will be missed, and no one will be able to fill her shoes. And that is both an instant gratification and a delayed gratification.

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About the Contributor
Zachary Berger
Zachary Berger, Staff Writer
Zachary is a Senior at Freehold High School. This is his fourth year writing for the Colonial. Zachary enjoys to cook, bake, draw, and spend time with his friends and family

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